Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Growing Africa's Digital Ecosystem by Bringing High Touch to High Tech

Article Image
PRESS RELEASE -- LAGOS, Nigeria -- The international tech community is nurturing Africa’s digital ecosystem by supporting skills development, technology adoption and the growth of digital businesses across the continent. Giants like Google and Facebook are leading the effort through direct investment, partnerships and in-market teams in key African markets.

Google and Facebook both opened offices in Nigeria in 2017. Lagos is home to Facebook’s first African tech hub (https://goo.gl/STzNrw) and one of Google’s four African offices (the others are in Kenya, Senegal and South Africa). These tech hubs are leading ambitious initiatives to train young Africans in digital skills. Google aims to train two million people (https://goo.gl/RGXUkY) across Africa each year and Facebook will train 50,000 Nigerians per year.

The tech hubs also serve as incubators for startups seeking to attract early stage investment. As Facebook’s regional Head of Partnerships Emeka Afigbo said in an interview with CNN (https://goo.gl/JLBWhm) “What we aim to do at the incubator is to provide support for high tech startups that do not ordinarily get investments, until they can develop a proof of concept.”

Africa is also attracting more attention from European tech companies. In November 2017, the European Commission hosted its sixth SEC2Africa (Startup Europe Comes to Africa) (https://goo.gl/tcQkDP) forum in Abidjan, Ethiopia. The forum brought together the top 50 EU-based tech companies doing business in Africa with the top 50 African tech companies in an effort to foster connections between the continents.

Many EU firms have in-market teams, especially those in the financial inclusion space, where there is a heavy focus on helping microfinance institutions to adopt fintech tools. Leading fintech companies are taking a hands-on approach to developing digital skills and readiness among their African customers.

For example, Oradian (https://Oradian.com) one of the EU-based finalists at SEC2Africa, provides a cloud-based toolset for financial institutions in hard-to-reach communities in Africa and Southeast Asia. Oradian’s offering includes a cloud-based banking platform, hands-on change management services and membership to a global community. The change management process includes implementation of global best practice, from accounting principles to data security and training of all staff.

Oradian's Head of Implementation, Onyeka Adibeli, working with the staff of a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI) to digitise and eliminate manual pen-and-paper processes.
Oradian's Head of Implementation, Onyeka Adibeli, working with the staff of a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI) to digitise and eliminate manual pen-and-paper processes.

Companies like Google, Facebook, SEC2Africa and Oradian are identifying what could be the missing links in the digital ecosystem: knowledge transfer and face-to-face interaction. As the fintech market becomes more crowded and business and consumers have more options, going offline and bringing high touch to high tech will be key.

ENDS

Innovation hub

Video

Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up