The Four Rising Sectors in African Technology

Africa is an evolving and ever-growing continent. Included in this rapid growth is the rise in new industries and technologies. Some of the top African countries are excelling and leading the way in agriculture, telecomms, banking infrastructure, and oil & gas (just to name a few industries experiencing rapid economic growth and innovation.)

The African tech scene experienced its best ever year last year when it raised a staggering 5.2 billion dollars. It is predicted that Africa is on its way to raising more than 7 billion in the coming years. 

Within the technology ecosystem, Africa has proved to be fertile ground for start ups and entrepreneurs from across the world. 

It is not a surprise that fintech dominated last year’s total funding, accounting for 63% or $3 billion of the funding that went to African startups. This year, so far, African startups have raised $2.1 billion, according to data from TechCabal’s funding tracker, with fintech still leading the way with $660 million. 

While it doesn’t look like fintech’s dominance will wane anytime soon in Africa, there are other sectors on the continent getting significant funding, and you should be paying attention to them.

The four rising sectors in African technology are:

  1. Fintech – “Fintech” is a portmanteau of “financial technology” which refers to firms using new technology to replace old ways of delivery in the financial sector. 
  2. E-commerce – Transactions that happen over the internet. 
  3. Healthcare technology – Similar to fintech in the way that technology is being used by an industry to enhance and improve its delivery methods. 
  4. Agriculture technology – The use of technology in agriculture to improve efficiency, crop yield, and probability. 

We will go into each of these booming sectors below.

How is the e-commerce sector growing in Africa

The e-commerce sector in Africa is growing rapidly due to several factors, including increased internet and mobile penetration, rising consumer purchasing power, and growing demand for online shopping. Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards online commerce. The African e-commerce market is expected to continue growing, with an increasing number of entrepreneurs and investors entering the market, and initiatives aimed at improving payment systems and logistics infrastructure. This growth presents significant opportunities for businesses to tap into the growing consumer base, as well as for job creation and economic development in the region.

How is the healthcare industry growing in Africa?

The healthcare industry in Africa is growing, driven by several factors including increasing government investment in the sector, the growth of private healthcare providers, and rising consumer demand for improved healthcare services. The Covid-19 pandemic has also brought attention to the need for better healthcare systems in the region.

In terms of technology, the use of telemedicine, digital health services, and mobile health (mHealth) solutions is becoming more widespread in Africa, providing greater access to healthcare for remote and underserved populations. Additionally, the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and the increasing use of medical devices and equipment are contributing to the growth of the healthcare sector.

Despite these positive developments, the healthcare industry in Africa still faces significant challenges such as limited access to quality healthcare services, particularly in rural areas, and a shortage of healthcare professionals. Addressing these challenges will be critical to further the growth of the sector and improve health outcomes in the region.

How is agriculture technology growing in Africa? 

Agriculture technology, also known as agtech, is a growing sector in Africa, aimed at improving agricultural productivity, efficiency, and profitability. There are several drivers of growth in the agtech sector in Africa, including the need to increase food security, the growing demand for food due to population growth, and the adoption of new technologies to address climate change and other challenges facing the agriculture industry.

Examples of agriculture technology in Africa include precision agriculture solutions, such as drones and remote sensing, which help farmers make more informed decisions about crop management. Other examples include mobile and web-based platforms that connect small-scale farmers with buyers and provide access to financial services, and innovative irrigation and water management solutions.

However, despite the growth of the agtech sector in Africa, there are still significant challenges to overcome. These include limited access to financing and investment, limited access to information and technology, and low levels of digital literacy among farmers. Addressing these challenges will be critical to the growth and sustainability of the agtech sector in Africa.

How is the fintech growing in Africa? 

Fintech in Africa is a rapidly growing sector, driven by increasing access to mobile technology and the need to provide financial services to the large unbanked population in the region. Fintech companies in Africa are using technology to offer innovative financial services, including mobile banking, digital payments, P2P lending, and insurance.

Mobile technology has been a key driver of growth in the fintech sector in Africa, with a high penetration of mobile phones and low barriers to entry enabling fintech companies to reach previously underserved populations. The increasing use of digital financial services is helping to drive financial inclusion and improve access to financial services for individuals and businesses in the region.

Despite these positive developments, the fintech sector in Africa faces significant challenges, including limited infrastructure, high levels of poverty and inequality, and low levels of financial literacy. Additionally, regulations and policies can also be a challenge for the growth of the fintech sector in some African countries. Addressing these challenges will be critical to the continued growth and development of the fintech sector in Africa.

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