Forget Africa’s unmatched natural beauty, the diversity, the food, the people, the culture, the wildlife, the breathtaking views and the fact that we made people believe that Wakanda exists, there is so much that we love about Africa. Africa is one place that welcomes you no matter who you are.
And when it comes to business and innovation again Africa’s creativity is unmatched, despite the million challenges the continent faces, there are still a million opportunities brought forth by its people.
Having our business operate in Africa for the past years and interacting with a large number of entrepreneurs through our events and also through those who run their businesses from our space forming our community, we must admit that we have so many reasons to love Africa.
So, as the world marks #Africa Day amidst an ongoing pandemic, here are our four reasons why we love Africa and why as a businessperson you should as well.
I know, your thoughts were around, the future is Africa…well, that’s for you to decide. It goes without saying! From great innovations like MPESA, BRCK to Twiga Foods to other amazing companies, Africa’s profile has over the past few years received major boost attracting technology giants across the world.
Nairobi Garage being home to hundreds of startups, we have seen phenomenal and diverse innovations come out of our space in the past years. Giving us more reason to fall in love with Africa. These innovations have seen great tech giants and companies come in and set-up Innovation Hubs across the African Countries.
For example, IBM partnered with Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) to launch IBM Research Lab the first in Africa in Nairobi. Last year Microsoft launched a $100 million Africa Development Centre (ADC) with offices in Kenya and Nigeria betting on African innovation in fields like fintech, agritech and off-grid energy and hopes to tap into them.
Though we struggle with coming up with regulatory frameworks here and there, we must admit that this also pauses great opportunities for some innovations to spur and grow.
While some startups find it hard to grow and flourish in other continents Africa is always open and highly receptive to an improvement in their standard of living. Take for instance Silicon Valley startup Zipline, which was initially turned down when attempting to test fixed-wing drones in US airspace.
Rwanda welcomed the company with open arms, and Zipline is now pioneering the time-critical delivery of blood and medical supplies to remote areas in Rwanda.
Talk of mobile money. Whereas other more established economic areas have been slower to adopt it, Africa has less to lose by embracing it. Even with the majority of Africa’s population still being considered unbanked to this day, ie. they have no access to banking services and no bank accounts.
In such a climate, there is simply no need for the general population to cling to some traditional way of doing things. This helps explain why Africa is ahead of Western countries in adopting P2P finance, and why mobile banking services such as MPESA have been taken up by African consumers and with Safaricom having introduced MPESA Global, we are of course set for an upward trajectory in the adoption of Mobile Money not forgetting the Fintech Innovations being born out of this like BOYA Application and many others that are quickly becoming part of our daily lives in Africa.
Mark Zuckerberg once said that Africans’ entrepreneurial spirit, energy, and will to succeed are “underappreciated” across the world and we cannot dispute this giving us another reason why we love Africa and being in Africa. Despite the challenges, SMEs face, Africa’s small enterprises, from trading to farming, contribute more than 80 per cent of output and jobs in most African nations. They also offer the best opportunities for growth, diversiﬁcation and job creation.
These are just but a few reasons why we love Africa and we would love to also know why you love Africa, but while at it and looking into setting up your business in Africa and especially Kenya it will be brilliant to join a business community and why not try Nairobi Garage? All in all Happy Africa Day!