A recent wave of technology innovation coming out of Africa is changing how Africans view the continent. This is according to a new report that includes the surveyed opinions of 4 500 Kenyans, Nigerians and Ghanaians.
When asked if recent developments in African technology had impacted their perception of the continent, four out of five answered “yes”. Nine out of ten are likely to use technology solutions that are made in Africa, and also likely to describe Africans as innovative and entrepreneurial.
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When asked which African technology stories they were most excited to read about, 29.8% said “funding stories”, closely followed by “expansion stories” (28%) and “partnership stories” (27%).
The Africa Innovation Impact Report by Talking Drum Communications and Survey54 also found that education (21.1%) is considered to be the sector most impacted by technology innovation in Africa over the last two years – more than financial services (18.3%) and entertainment (15.1%).
Furthermore, researchers believe a new “innovation narrative” has emerged in Africa in recent years, embodied by the exponential growth of funding for technology start-ups. Not only has investment into African start-ups grown 18 times between 2015 and 2021, funding for African start-ups grew two times faster than global rates between 2020 and 2021.
However, beyond the stories of multi-million dollar funding rounds and acquisitions, there are also the stories of the people these innovations have been developed to help. The report highlighted job creation (51%) as the biggest advantage of Africa’s growing digital economy. This is more than exposure of the younger population to technology (29.3%), growing financial inclusion (12.4%) and the potential to plug infrastructure gaps on the continent (7.1%).
Talking Drum Communications founder and managing director Olugbeminiyi Idowu said, “Our aim with the report is to capture the impact of Africa’s emerging innovation narrative beyond anecdotes and hearsay, and contribute to the conversation about how we keep things moving forward.
“Based on the data we have gathered, the innovation coming out of Africa is not only changing the way people live and work, it is also changing the way people think, how they view themselves as Africans and driving a demand for more innovation. There is a growing appetite for these innovations, both from African users and global investors, and there is much to be excited about what the future holds.”