Africa is no doubt the next big thing as well as the new frontier for everyone including tech giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM among others. This is why a desperate onrush by European countries, America, and China to acquire their share has been activated. People have described it as the second scramble for Africa. Unlike the first scramble that saw the Europeans send their foot soldiers to impose their governance and culture on African countries, now, it is packaged in trade, aid, innovation, and technology.
In spite of this subtle second invasion, the gains and advantages cannot be overlooked or neglected specifically in the area of technology. This time, many African cities and young African are embracing technology and are at the forefront of this tech boom. This is quite interesting when you consider the third world status of the continent. This is what the international media have tagged the whole Africa and many Africans have come to accept the status third world. As technology becomes the solution to combat the third world status of the continent, Innovation Village identifies 5 African cities (not limited to this 5) taking advantage of technology and will inescapably shape the future of the African tech space.
A population of 21 million, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria and arguably one of the most vibrant African cities, Lagos is the heartbeat of African technology. Besides government support, tech startups developing useful applications and software are dotted all over the city. Some of the triumphant startups are printivo, Prepclass, Dovilearn and Chop Up. The incubators include Co-creation Hub, iDea Hub, Lead Path, and Weannovation among others. The fact is Lagos will pay a key role in shaping the future of technology in Africa.
Kenya is popular for its flourishing tourism industry. If you are a tech entrepreneur in the past, a visit to Kenya should be for a Safari trip to the various National Park to see the breeding of Rhinos, Giraffes, and Lions. However, over the last decades Nairobi, the capital of Kenya have sprung up to become a city using technology to tackle societal problems. In Nairobi, ‘young tech entrepreneurs, laptops plastered in stickers, dress casually and sit around big tables, on couches, and sometimes on the floor at the iHub, a tech incubation center that has spawned 150 startups and created 1,300 jobs. Its corporate partners include companies like Google, Microsoft, and Intel according to a report by Bloomberg on the rising tech hub in Kenya.” Ushahidi, the open-source software used to share information and interactive maps to prevent conflicts and help aid agencies provide relief in disaster areas. The software is used in 159 countries.
After 18 days of massive protests, the 30-year administration of President Hosni Mubarak came to an end. How did they achieve this fit? Youths, especially in Cairo and Alexandria took to social media to mobilize support for the protest. Since then, there has been more freedom for the youth population of the country to think outside the box. Since 2011, over a dozen technology hubs and business incubators offering fairly substantial funding, mentoring and support has appeared in Cairo. Some of the tech startups making waves are Bey2ollak, Egypt’s most popular crowd-powered traffic information app, Solarist– designed a portable, solar-powered seawater desalination unit to bring inexpensive water in remote areas, and Recyclobekia, developed to tackle e-waste problem in Cairo and other parts of the country.
Ghana and Nigeria are fierce competitors when it has to do with football. A soccer match between both countries is a war. But when it comes to technology, Nigeria is well ahead. This said, Ghana especially Accra is setting the pace for the future of African tech. MEST, a leading school for entrepreneurs and Information Technology coding, iSpace Foundation, Mobile Web Ghana, Hub Accra, and mFriday are proof that technology is massively contributing its quota.
The tumultuous history of Rwanda can never be forgotten by the citizens of Paul Kagame’s country. The 1994 genocide pitted the majority Hutus against the minority Tutsis. This pogrom claimed as many as 1 million lives over the next 100 days. Despite this, technology is a vehicle driving the country to the path development away. Kigali is taking the lead. Small companies like laptop and smart phone maker Gira ICT have partnership with manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, HP, and Lenovo to provide affordable gadgets to Rwandans, Working with Microsoft and Intel to equip schools, and many of the tech hubs are located in Kigali like kLab, an open space for IT entrepreneurs to collaborate and The Office.
Copied from Innovation Village – http://innovation-village.com/top-5-african-cities-shaping-the-future-of-technology-in-the-continent/