Government funding is just one avenue for African tech

Government funding is just one avenue for African tech. Credit: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg; Eduard Gismatullin/Bloomberg.

Hoping to reap the economic benefits of a digital revolution, several African countries are seeking to build their own versions of Silicon Valley. Is this a task better left to governments or to private industry?

Some nations believe they can grow their technology sectors by investing billions of dollars to erect cities complete with universities, laboratories and offices for start-ups and tech freelancers. Kenya’s planned 5,000-acre Konza Techno City near Nairobi is projected to accommodate 200,000 people, create 100,000 jobs and generate $1 billion in economic activity each year when it’s completed in 2030. The tech hub is intended to focus on education, life sciences, telecommunications, and business process outsourcing and IT-enabled services.

Read more: Government Funding Is Just One Avenue for African Tech Sector | Institutional Investor