Africa's technology and internet transformation
Almost $5 billion (€4.8 billion) was raised by African start-ups in 2021. Of this, 62 per cent of funding went to fintech companies, digital payments and other finance-related solutions, according to research company Briter Bridges.
“If you look at the recent developments in terms of mobile technology, talking specifically about mobile money is exactly the area where Africa should be striving, which is fintech,” said Lacina Koné, Director General and CEO of Smart Africa, a pan-African institution endorsed by the African Union.
The group works to enhance the digital landscape in Africa and works with the private sector and governments. It is also the brainchild of Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame.
“Africa is a mobile-first continent so you can really see where Africa should be really positioning itself for a competitive advantage and the landscape of the digital economy,” Koné added.
While Africa is thriving in the fintech sector, it is only through a digital transformation that the continent could catch up with other nations, argues Koné.
To achieve this, Africa will need to address its skills shortage.
Despite Africa boasting a young population, more education is needed to address a skills shortage partly caused by a brain drain, Koné said.
“We are talking about how we find difficulty in finding workers because tech is very fast but education is lagging. However, Africa has a huge opportunity for the young generations”.