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Affrica

A yw Dwyrain Affrica ar y trywydd iawn i ddod yn ganolbwynt cychwyn Tech newydd ar Gyfandir Affrica?

RHANNU:

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Gan Jean Clarys

Yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf, mae cyfandir Affrica wedi gweld twf sylweddol mewn buddsoddiadau mewn cychwyniadau technoleg, gan gyflymu yn ystod ac ar ôl y pandemig. Cynyddodd cyllid cyfalaf menter blynyddol yn y rhanbarth hwn o $2 biliwn yn 2019 i $5 biliwn yn 2022. Dros y degawd diwethaf, mae $20 biliwn wedi’i fuddsoddi yn y cyfandir, gyda 68% o’r swm hwnnw’n digwydd yn y tair blynedd diwethaf (2021, 2022, 2023).

Gellir priodoli'r ymchwydd hwn mewn buddsoddiadau cychwyn technoleg i ddiddordeb cryf mewn datblygu arloesiadau technolegol sy'n mynd i'r afael ag anghenion lleol mewn iechyd, cynhwysiant ariannol, a sofraniaeth bwyd. Yn ogystal, mae apêl buddsoddi yn y sector hwn yn cael ei yrru gan ragolygon twf sylweddol, o ystyried yr heriau cymdeithasol ac economaidd y bydd y cyfandir yn eu hwynebu erbyn 2050, megis diweithdra cynyddol ac anawsterau cynyddol wrth gael mynediad at wasanaethau cyhoeddus.

Consequently, there are about 600 tech hubs across the continent, with Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa leading the pack. While the entire African continent seems to be experiencing a tech startup boom, the enthusiasm for these investments remains uneven from one country to another. In this context, it is worth exploring East Africa’s potential to become the next leading tech startup ecosystem on the continent.

Er bod llawer o erthyglau'n trafod datblygiad ecosystemau cychwyn technoleg yn Affrica naill ai o safbwynt cyfandirol neu genedlaethol, bydd y dadansoddiad hwn yn canolbwyntio ar y manteision a'r heriau y mae Dwyrain Affrica yn eu hwynebu wrth ddatblygu ei hecosystem cychwyn technoleg ac a allai yn wir ddod yn esiampl newydd o fusnesau newydd ym maes technoleg. ar y cyfandir.

One of East Africa’s primary advantages over other regions is its plurality of tech hubs. While other African regions centralize their tech ecosystems within a single country, and often a single city—Egypt for North Africa (Cairo), Nigeria for West Africa (Lagos), and South Africa for Southern Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Gauteng)—East Africa, though dominated by Kenya (Nairobi), boasts several dynamic ecosystems, including Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and to a lesser extent, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, and Mauritius.

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This multipolarity, a rare quality on the African continent, must be viewed in context. For instance, while $880 million was invested in Kenya’s tech startup ecosystem in 2023, Tanzania and Uganda attracted only $25 million and $5 million, respectively.

Kenya is the main driver of tech startup growth in East Africa. Its dynamic ecosystem, known as the “Silicon Savannah,” hosts over 200 startups. In 2023, Nairobi even overtook Lagos as Africa’s top digital hub. Kenya alone attracted $880 million in venture capital in 2023, accounting for 31% of all investments in African startups. This performance enabled Kenya to surpass giants like Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa, which attracted $410 million, $640 million, and $600 million, respectively.

The presence of major tech companies (GAFAM) in Nairobi supports this tech startup ecosystem. For instance, Microsoft’s development and research center in Nairobi continues to grow since its establishment in 2019, whereas the one opened in Lagos at the same time closed in May 2024. In April 2022, Google followed Microsoft’s lead by setting up its first development center on the continent in Nairobi, planning to invest over 115 billion KSh (about $1 billion) over the next five years.

Moreover, in October 2023, Amazon AWS opened its first development center in the heart of the capital. Initially known for its fintech dynamism, exemplified by M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service developed by Safaricom, Kenya’s tech startup ecosystem is also gaining traction in other sectors like Greentech, Health Tech, and Ed Tech.

Mae manteision strwythurol eraill yn cyd-fynd ag amlbegynoldeb y rhanbarth a phresenoldeb dinas flaenllaw ar gyfer Dwyrain Affrica i gyd. Mae gan y rhanbarth boblogaeth ifanc sy'n datblygu'n gyflym ac sy'n ddeallus yn ddigidol. Mae'r boblogaeth hon yn gyffredinol wedi'i haddysgu'n dda, diolch i fentrau fel Andela ac Ysgol Moringa, sy'n hyfforddi datblygwyr a pheirianwyr medrus iawn i fodloni'r galw cynyddol am dalent technoleg.

Mae diwylliant cryf o gydweithio, sy'n unigryw i Ddwyrain Affrica, hefyd yn gosod y rhanbarth fel arweinydd posibl ar y cyfandir yn y dyfodol. Mae'r diwylliant cydweithredol hwn yn amlwg yn y digwyddiadau niferus sy'n cyfrannu at dwf ecosystem cychwyn technoleg bwerus yn y rhanbarth, megis Dwyrain AHUB a drefnwyd gan East Africa Com (EAC), Gwobrau Cychwyn Dwyrain Affrica (GSA), a'r gynghrair rhwng Kua Ventures a Startup Savanna.

Mae'r gynrychiolaeth gref o actorion cyhoeddus a phreifat o'r rhanbarth mewn mentrau technoleg ar draws y cyfandir, fel TechCabal, Uwchgynhadledd a Gwobrau Adeiladwyr Ecosystemau Cychwyn Affrica (ASEB), a Gŵyl Affrica Tech, hefyd yn tynnu sylw at y diwylliant cydweithredol hwn. Mae'r mewnlifiad o gyfalaf a buddsoddiad i mewn i gwmnïau technoleg newydd yn ased mawr arall sy'n gwahaniaethu'r rhanbarth oddi wrth weddill y cyfandir.

Mae cronfeydd cyfalaf menter lleol, fel Cronfa Savannah a TLcom Capital, yn chwarae rhan hanfodol wrth gefnogi busnesau newydd ar wahanol gamau datblygu. Yn ogystal, mae llywodraethau rhanbarthol yn cydnabod pwysigrwydd y sector technoleg ar gyfer datblygu economaidd. Mae polisïau ffafriol, megis cymhellion treth ar gyfer busnesau newydd a buddsoddiadau mewn seilwaith digidol, yn cael eu gweithredu i gefnogi arloesedd.

For example, Rwanda launched the “Smart Rwanda Master Plan” in 2020 to promote digital transformation. Government support is also reflected in educational programs, with Kenya mandating the teaching of basic computer coding in primary schools. Uganda’s National Transmission Backbone Infrastructure (NTBI) project aims to deploy a nationwide fiber optic network, improving internet connectivity and attracting tech companies. Tanzania followed suit with the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) project. In Uganda, government-created free zones offer tax benefits to encourage foreign investments in tech startups.

However, the region also faces challenges that temper the assertion that East Africa will undoubtedly become the beacon of African tech startups. First, like the rest of the continent, East Africa is not immune to the global slowdown in tech startup funding. The venture capital fund Partech Africa reports that the continent’s tech ecosystem was valued at $3.5 billion last year, a 46% decline from 2022, with half of its active investors lost.

The region’s tech startup ecosystem’s dependence on foreign investments explains why it has been disproportionately affected by this funding shortfall compared to many other regions. As Jit Bhattacharya, CEO and co-founder of the electric mobility startup BasiGo in Kenya, notes, access to funding remains the primary challenge for Kenyan tech startups. A survey conducted by the regional tech event East Africa Com and the tech news portal Connecting Africa reveals that behind this concern (59%), the main threats identified by East African tech entrepreneurs in 2023 are dependence on international venture capital firms (56%) and global recession trends (55%).

This set of threats partly explains why several tech companies in the region, such as Cellulant, Twiga, Wasoko, and MarketForce, have recently faced disruptions ranging from layoffs and contractions to strategic recalibrations. Some startups have even permanently closed their doors, including Zumi, Kune, Sendy, and Dash. Another significant structural challenge that seems to hinder East Africa’s push to become the new tech startup beacon of the African continent is high corruption levels, as highlighted by American journalist Keith Richburg in a Washington Post article. He refers to a Daily Nation article estimating the cost of bribes for 10 basic services. Recently, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai warned that corruption in public procurement was hampering efforts to attract more American investments.

Thus, it is evident that East Africa is a true international cradle of the tech startup ecosystem. This dynamism is driven by, among other things, dynamic public policies, investor confidence, supportive education and training for tech, crucial infrastructure development, a culture of collaboration, a driving force embodied by Kenya’s dynamism, and two often-overlooked yet crucial advantages: an English-speaking population and a pleasant climate. These factors seem essential to attracting talent and young workers from around the world. However, despite these clear advantages, some challenges must be considered to determine whether East Africa will become the new tech startup beacon on the African continent.

Mae'r prif heriau yn cynnwys dibyniaeth sylweddol ar dueddiadau rhyngwladol, yn enwedig buddsoddiadau tramor, a sylfaen ddatblygu sydd dan fygythiad gan lefelau llygredd uchel. Tra bod Kenya (MYDAWA, Kopo Kopo, ac ati), Rwanda (Kacha, SafeMotos, ac ati), Tanzania (Ubongo, Jumia Tanzania, ac ati), Uganda (SafeBoda, Numida, ac ati), Mauritius (EcoVadis, Azuri Technologies, ac ati), Ethiopia (BeBlocky, ArifPay, ac ati), a Dwyrain DRC (Elimu, Nuru, ac ati) yn cyflwyno ecosystemau cychwyn technoleg addawol, mae rhai heriau yn ein hatgoffa bod y gystadleuaeth ryngwladol yn ffyrnig ac mae ecosystemau Affricanaidd eraill hefyd yn anelu at fanteisio ar y cyfle hwn.

Er enghraifft, mae Nigeria (Terragon, Moove, ac ati) wedi datblygu 5 o'r 7 unicorn Affricanaidd, mae gan Dde Affrica (OrderIn, Pineapple Insurance, ac ati) nifer o ganolfannau cychwyn ar draws ei diriogaeth, gan gynnwys Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, a Port Gwelodd Elizabeth, a'r Aifft (Swvl, Vezeeta, ac ati) ei unicorn cyntaf, Fawry, yn dod i'r amlwg yn 2020 a dyma'r wlad sydd â'r nifer fwyaf o gwmnïau technoleg newydd ar y cyfandir.

Rhannwch yr erthygl hon:

Mae EU Reporter yn cyhoeddi erthyglau o amrywiaeth o ffynonellau allanol sy'n mynegi ystod eang o safbwyntiau. Nid yw'r safbwyntiau a gymerir yn yr erthyglau hyn o reidrwydd yn rhai o eiddo Gohebydd yr UE.

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