All eyes on Africa tech

Over the last year, all eyes have been on Africa’s technology sector. And for a very good reason: infrastructure growth is booming. Between 2010 and 2016, seven new undersea cables brought fast data connections to the continent, with two more already under development. Meanwhile, mobile providers have invested $13.6 billion into getting 500,000,000 Africans online by 2020.

But as necessary as infrastructure investment is, it alone won’t take African business global. So what technological development or product has the potential to make African businesses global players?

Tech sector already outperforms expectations

A common misconception is that raw materials are the big African growth story of the last decade. But according to research by Freshfields, since 2004 Africa’s technology companies have delivered 19% annualized returns, compared to just 11% in commodities.

A clue to why the African tech sector is growing can be found in the East African mobile payments industry. In most of the world, mobile payments is a niche sector, because consumers have many other convenient ways to pay –bank cards, credit cards and banking transfers, for instance.

Read more: Gadget: All eyes on Africa tech

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