New research for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows that African business leaders are forecasting a surge in spending on tech start-ups as foreign direct investment and improved internet connectivity help establish the continent as a tech superpower.
The research was conducted by independent digital research and marketing company PureProfile, which reportedly interviewed 100 senior executives at companies based in Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania across April 2022 using an online survey methodology.
Funding for Tech Startups Expected to More than Double
More than half (54%) of African senior executives expect spending on tech start-ups on the continent to more than double by 2025 to $10-billion or more, compared with the $4.9-billion raised last year. Around one in six (16%) believe more than $15-billion will be raised.
The study, focused on African business leaders from companies with total annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion, identified foreign direct investment and improving internet connectivity as the key drivers for the expansion.
Around three-quarters (75%) believe the investment will come from Western countries while 66% believe China will be a major source of investment.
Nearly six out of 10 (57%) believe dramatic improvements in internet connectivity will be the main support for expansion as it drives education, healthcare, and business.
Africa is the Next Tech Super Power
The research among senior executives at companies with average annual revenues of $70 million based across Africa found nearly half (45%) believe Africa will be a tech superpower within 10 years.
Executives are pointing to the development of Africa’s tech ecosystem – nearly 90% of those interviewed expect it to grow by at least half its current size in the next three years with 15% expecting it to double in size during that period.
That in turn will expand Africa’s role in supplying technology to the rest of the world – around 60% of executives expect that to grow in the next five years with one in 10 predicting dramatic expansion.
“Africa is seen as ripe for economic expansion by its own business leaders and technology will play a vital role in delivering the development,” says Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile.
“The potential is huge as currently Africa only accounts for 0.2% of the global money invested in technology start-ups so there is a capacity for growth and huge interest from Western and Chinese foreign direct investment.”
“Much of it hinges however on improving internet connectivity and particularly in areas which are hard to reach and ignored by traditional companies. We are committed to playing our part in supporting the development of technology businesses throughout the continent,” Watkins adds.
World Mobile’s Flying Internet Supply
World Mobile is helping to revolutionize internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa and is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low-altitude platform balloons.
Its balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, offering a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs.