You may not have realised it, but Africa is quickly becoming one of the technological frontrunners in the world. With so many developments and advancements due to be made this year alone, here are just five of the most exciting.
Payments becoming much easier
One of the major developments Africa can expect to see this year is the development of virtual payment systems – things such as mobile payments are set to become the norm in Africa in 2018. Paystack, Karri and many other startups are making it much easier to transfer money and make payments via mobile than it ever has been before in Africa. With 39% of people spending over five hours a day on their phone, it’s a necessity.
However, although mobile payments and financial services have surged in popularity in the last few years, processes have been cluttered and confusing. 2018 looks to rectify any existing issues and smooth out the ways people can pay for things and how merchants receive said payments.
It’s a new concept for not just Africa, but the entire world – drone deliveries are set to touch down in 2018, however, making things even more accessible for citizens in hard-to-reach areas, or for those who are urgently in need of a product or delivery that wouldn’t reach them in time otherwise.
In fact, Africa looks to be ahead of its international rivals, as countries such as Rwanda welcome the drones whereas parts of Europe and the US do not due to aviation laws. And, with the drones also being used for things such as blood, vaccines and anti-venom, they’re much more beneficial to communities in Africa than one may initially think.
Solar power helping small communities
Smaller parts of Africa are set to gain power in 2018, thanks to The Sun Exchange, a tech startup based in South Africa, who allows people to invest in solar cells, which sees people come together and all contribute to a system where these solar cells combine to create panels that’ll provide power to a small African community.
It’s a win-win concept, too, as investors will make money whilst these communities finally gain access to power. It’s just one of the many ingenious ways Africa is expanding and opening its doors to monumental technological advancements in 2018 and beyond.
Tech helping stores expand
Another promising startup is Sokowatch, which gives small businesses the opportunity to order supplies from international locations, in order to increase their stock and effectively offer many more products and services to local customers.
And, with investment secured for Sokowatch just months ago, small stores and businesses in Africa will certainly be seeing the benefits of this technological revolution in 2018.
As previously mentioned, drone deliveries and the introduction of Sokowatch and other similar startups mean massive improvements for eCommerce in Africa. That isn’t to mention the advancements being made for mobile and online payments, as well as the expansion of stores and services that can serve small communities.
Africa is absolutely being put on the map in terms of tech, with its very own Silicon Valley even being proposed for Nairobi. 2018 looks to be the year it surges forward, making some incredible leaps that will bring it up to speed with other frontrunners in the market.