It is an undisputed fact that technology awareness and advancement in Africa has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years and this has been possible through the springing of tech hubs across the continent in collaboration venture capitalist, global tech giants, development agencies and other corporate bodies.
In a research carried out by Briter Bridges and the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator programme, identifies 618 of these active tech hubs in Africa. These are organisation with a physical local address, offering facilities and support for tech and digital entrepreneurs.
The 2019 figure represents a 40 per cent leap since last year’s study, which counted 442. However, 25 per cent of the active total hubs only offer co-working facilities instead of specifically tech-focused support programmes or funding.
Also, key findings from the 2019 mapping shows Nigeria and South Africa remain the most advanced ecosystems, boasting 85 and 80 active tech hubs respectively, offering well-established collaborations and investment networks.
The report shows Lagos is now the top innovative city by number of hubs (40+), while Western Cape, Gauteng and, increasingly, Durban, are the core of South Africa’s tech hubs scene.
Egypt, with 56 active hubs, is positioned as the de facto node between the African and Middle Eastern ecosystems. Kenya, with 48 hubs has already been established as the heart of East Africa’s technology ecosystem.
Here is a break-down of the 15 main tech cities and the include Lagos, Cairo, Cape Town, Nairobi, and Johannesburg belong to Tier 1, with 20 to 40 hubs each. Casablanca, Accra, Abidjan, Tunis, and Abuja follow suit as Tier 2 cities, with 15+ hubs each. Dakar, Bamako, Kampala, Dar Es Salaam, and Lomé with 10+ hubs are the latest emerging cities.
It is worth noting that many of the above-mentioned emerging cities have recently launched angel networks and have joined regional or international tech alliances.