Africa

The African tech hubs fostering innovation

Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT) February 22, 2018
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Africa is experiencing increased investment in its tech industries. One contributing factor is the amount of tech hubs in the major urban centers that are sprouting. According to research from GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator in 2016 there were 314 active tech hubs across the continent.

Part of the appeal of tech hubs is that they provide affordable shared office space, fast internet, and access to reliable electricity, something that the continent overall still grapples with. Nairobi Garage in Kenya's capital offers all of these things, and holds tech events, conferences and workshops helping entrepreneurs gain new skills. Also in Nairobi, iHub tech incubator lists more than 150 companies that can trace their origins to ideas sparked there.
Courtesy: Kenya Tourism Board
Over 50% of tech hubs are in five countries, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria Egypt and Morocco. One of the biggest in South Africa is Durban's SmartXchange, which strives to develop small and medium enterprises, and holds monthly forums where successful business figures offer advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
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Cape Town-based RLabs organizes digital and entrepreneurship bootcamps, and provides an investment of up to $20,000 for every social enterprise developed through their program. Courtesy Cape Town Tourism
The east Africa nation's capital is home to iceaddis which supports youth-driven private sector initiatives and promotes interaction between techies, entrepreneurs, investors and people from the creative industries. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
The Co-Creation Hub in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city, holds so-called tech-In series, where software developers and designers try to create new web and mobile based solutions to social challenges affecting the everyday lives of Nigerians over the course of two days.
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The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, or MEST, in Ghana's capital Accra provides training, investment and mentoring for aspiring technology entrepreneurs. JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
Located in Tanzania's largest city, Kinu aims to be an open space where Tanzania's tech community can collaborate, and make a joint effort to find new solutions to social challenges. Daniel Hayduk/AFP/Getty Images
In the heart of Kampala is Hive Colab, a community-run innovation hub which offers co-working space. It's a place where tech entrepreneurs, web and mobile app developers, designers and investors can meet, nurture ideas and get them off the ground. ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images
Recovering from a recent, bloody history of conflict, Liberia is turning its attention to tech. Monrovia's iLab offers free training in information and communications technology and serves as a meet-up space for a range of tech enthusiasts and professionals. ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images