Africa 2.0 or more explicitly the updated, modern day version of Africa can be traced back to the mobile telecom visit of this bountifully blessed land at the turn of the 21st Century.
Rewinding a century earlier, the cradle of civilization was being visited by Europeans who met a vast land full of untapped potential. The Dark Continent they called her, the dark cloudy continent. Still she refused to be called so and wanted to prove that through that darkness lays a safe haven for the realisation of dreams. Yes there are still some problems that are pending, but a huge market share and highly motivated young African entrepreneurs have given birth to a new, upgraded version of Africa, Africa 2.0.
Africa 2.0: A gradual transition
One of Africa’s biggest startup accelerators, Venture for Africa, carried out a survey in 2011 to find out about the reasons most African start-ups fail. The eight reasons tabled out on their blog blames poor execution as the number one killer for startups in Africa. Though this still remains a problem, some great progress has been made due to the ease of access to necessary information, and encounters through forums with other techies who’ve been in the industry long enough to share their experiences. The other factors like the lack of proper infrastructures and sustainable financing are becoming a thing of the past, as the infrastructure landscape is improving and more and more investors are queuing up to tap into this rich gold mine. So the question now goes. How soon before the newer version is ready for download?
Within the last 10 years, there has been some sort of startup revolution from the North through to the South of Africa. Young energetic Africans are coding away the problems they, as Africans, encounter on a daily basis. Talking to Mambe Churchill of Njorku Inc., you get a cross sectional look at the devotion young Africans have towards building this newer version of Africa. In 2011, Mr. Mambe created njorku.com, a job search platform to help reduce the ever present anti-economic factor which is unemployment. A sweet melange of technology and dedication has led to millions of Africans having job vacancy information directly sent to them by email or SMS. From Njorku in Cameroon to Dropifi in Ghana, Ushahidi in Kenya and Sembuse in South Africa, young Africans have been actively working to make Africa 2.0 the most downloadable “app” within the next 10 years.
Africa 2.0: Comes with great new features…
With a 5.3 forecasted growth rate in 2014 and the title of fastest growing continent in the world, Africa 2.0 comes with great new features for doing business and lots of cool stuffs yet to be exploited by its users. The “interface” is much improved due to the improving access to fast and reliable internet connectivity and a touch of modern day technology at the disposal of African techtrepreneurs.
The sky is by no means the limit to what these savvy African techies can mastermind. The reason why there hasn’t been an independent big startup success story in Africa is because Africa is the big success story. As this African proverb goes, “it takes a whole village to raise a child”. So trying to point out one stand out performer is by no means fair, as each one of our African techies are bringing something very unique and special to the development of the new digital Africa, Africa 2.0.