Africa was once one of the most technologically restrained regions, but it has always boasted immense natural and human resources potential. Thankfully, the last few decades have turned things around for the continent, and it’s all due to the technological advancements in the diverse region.
As a result, Africa has seen a growing surge in foreign investments in the last few years, particularly in fintech, digital payments, and solar energy. This post will explore how Africa is changing with technological advancements and its prospects for foreign investors.
Information and Computer Technology Transforming African Landscape
Like most parts of the world, Africa has received its share of technology and advanced communication. As a result, Africa is part of the global village through social media and other network tools. So, it’s not surprising that the African landscape now experiences a boost in the economy, and we see Africa excelling in modern tech tools.
In addition, some of the most powerful social media influencers come from Africa, which speaks volumes about the potential and the impact of technology and communication in the blooming region.
Many believe that recent technological upgrades are just starting something more substantial and everlasting in the region and will change African lives for good.
Drone Technology is Helping Farmers
While a smartphone is a mere source of entertainment for many, African farmers are using them in combination with drones for the imagery of their farms.
Aerial drone shots are helping farmers in forecasting weather, which ultimately helps them with better yield. Likewise, they use soil sensors to monitor crop growth, bringing more monetary benefits to several regions in the continent.
The African population is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050. Therefore, drone imagery is one of many steps in the right direction to combat mass hunger, which is already a big problem in many parts of Africa and the world.
The Emergence of Fintech in Africa
The past couple of years have been tough for everyone, and Africa is no exception. However, economic experts believe that Africa has shown significant signs in the fintech sector and will play a crucial role in recovering the 4.4% drop in the African economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
African Continental Free Trade Agreement
One of the game changers in African fintech comes is AfCFTA, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. The agreement will ensure continued economic growth and development despite the pandemic, promising more business and jobs for the locals.
As a result, it will bring foreign investment into the region. So, if you’re a business looking to expand in Africa, start looking for a professional African translation agency to make the most of the economic growth in the region in the next five years, the last thing you want is to miscommunicate with locals.
African Countries Speeding Up the Digital Transformation
To make the most of the fintech growth in Africa, many African countries have accelerated their digital transformation. So, it’s common to see new communication companies enhancing their services for locals to ensure better wireless connectivity and flawless internet services.
Who are the Fintech Leaders in Africa?
The figures for African fintech start-ups are pretty promising. A survey suggested a 51% rise in fintech start-ups in the region. It promoted virtual banking, finance apps, and consumer credit checks.
Astonishingly, African fintech start-ups have been reported to generate nearly $350 million in the first part of 2020, the most severely affected period by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt received the highest investments in the region, exceeding $50 million.
Ultimately, fintech showed favourable penetration rates as 94% of South Africans have regular internet access, and 67% have a bank account.
Another Nigerian company, Branch, which offers mobile loans, received a $260 million funding and provided nearly $350m in loans. Interestingly, Nigeria gets most of its investments abroad, and the fintech sector has already grown close to 200% in the last three years in Nigeria.
Role of Internet in Changing Africa
The internet is an obvious game-changer in the region, and companies have invested heavily to ensure faster and easier access to the internet in Africa. Interestingly, mobile devices in Africa were available more than electricity in 2016.
The numbers suggested that even though less than half of the African population has access to grid electricity, more than two-fifths of African people have mobile phones.
While it’s not easy to highlight all the benefits of the internet in Africa, it has produced astonishing results in:
- Connecting African people to the world via social media –more than 83% of Africans use Facebook. Therefore, they are more aware of the global trends, especially when it comes to online education and business.
- Seamlessly paying their bills through mobile applications, especially unbanked people who can pay utility bills more conveniently through mobile applications. For instance, Stripe is a popular payment app in Africa. Likewise, Chipper Cash is an American-based start-up that provides mobile payment services in seven African countries.
- Acquiring free and accessible education through online platforms like eLearning Africa. These platforms offer online education and training to thousands of children across the continent that will ultimately help the region to find its true existence on the world map.
Growth of Smartphone Market in Africa
Since most of the online operations run through mobile phones, Africa has observed a surge in mobile phone sales in the last few years. Some reports suggest that Africa is the fastest-growing market for mobile phones, growing at a 65% rate, twice the global average.
Mobile phones prove more cost-effective in Africa, and they have more appeal to the younger generation. Given that 60% of Africans are below 25, it is no surprise that the demand for mobile phones is so high in this part of the world.
Africa is undoubtedly a growing force in the world in many industrial sectors. Whether it’s technology, Fintech, education, or eco-friendly start-ups, Africa has immense potential, and it’s an appealing region for foreign investors.