Greater global interest in Africa's tech ecosystem - MEST
- Published on 18 January 2016
The Meltwater Entrepreneurship School of Technology (MEST) has described Africa's tech ecosystem as one that is growing in maturity, characterised by regional hubs of activity, according to Neal Hansch, Managing Director of the Accra-based incubator.
According to Hansch, more startups in Africa's tech ecosystem are securing funding from various parts of the world. "The ecosystem is getting more mature, there seems to be regional hub of activities, and I think we are seeing more startups get funded. We're seeing more international awareness on what is happening in Africa. We're seeing more angel networks, venture funds are coming from all places including Asia. One of our companies raised funds from Malaysia," he said.
Hansch observed that the successes being recorded in the continent's tech space could be linked to Africa's increasing mobile and broadband penetration rates. To further solidify Africa's status as a continent with impressive startup activities, Hansch said the penetration rates must continue to grow and there needs to be "some big exits".
"This underpins increasing mobile and broadband penetration. We're also looking for the big exits that will put Africa on the map," he said.
He also noted that more global enterprises are strengthening their interest and are committing resources to support the growth of Africa's tech space. "We're seeing more global enterprises committing resources to the growth of the ecosystem in Africa – enterprises like Microsoft and Samsung. We are moving in the right direction and it is a matter of how quickly we can progress but our core focus is entrepreneurial ecosystem," Hansch said.
According to the MEST executive African startups are making great moves and are expanding especially in areas such as Fintech, ecommerce and education technology.
"We are making great moves in these and other areas where startups are unveiling new innovations and in return, they are gaining lots of visibility," he said.
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