A new report that includes the surveyed opinions of 4,500 Africans from Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana has revealed that the recent wave of technology innovation coming out of Africa is changing how Africans view the continent. When asked if recent developments in African technology had impacted their perception of the continent, 4 out of 5 (84.6 per cent) answered “yes”.
According to the report, 9 out of 10 (91.7 per cent) are likely to use technology solutions that are made in Africa and 9 out of 10 (91.8 per cent) are likely to describe Africans as innovative and entrepreneurial. When asked which African technology stories they were most excited to read about, 29.8 per cent said: “funding stories”, closely followed by “expansion stories” (28 per cent) and “partnership stories” (27 per cent).
The Africa Innovation Impact Report, which was compiled by Talking Drum Communications, a public relations and communications consultancy that works with African technology companies, and Survey54, an artificial intelligence-powered market research company, also found that education (21.1 per cent) is considered to be the sector most impacted by technology innovation in Africa over the last two years. More than financial services (18.3 per cent) and entertainment (15.1 per cent).
A new innovation narrative has emerged in Africa in recent years, embodied by the exponential growth of funding for technology startups. Not only has investment into African startups grown 18x between 2015 and 2021, but funding for African startups also grew 2x faster than global rates between 2020 and 2021. However, beyond the stories of multimillion-dollar funding rounds and acquisitions, there are also the stories of the people these innovations have been developed to help. The Africa Innovation Impact Report highlighted job creation (51 per cent) as the biggest advantage of Africa’s growing digital economy. More than the exposure of the younger population to technology (29.3 per cent), growing financial inclusion (12.4 per cent) and the potential to plug infrastructure gaps on the continent (7.1per cent).
Commenting on the findings of the report, Olugbeminiyi Idowu, Founder and Managing Director of Talking Drum Communications, said, “Our aim with the report is to capture the impact of Africa’s emerging innovation narrative beyond anecdotes and hearsay and contribute to the conversation about how we keep things moving forward. Based on the data we have gathered, the innovation coming out of Africa is not only changing the way people live and work, but it is also changing the way people think, and how they view themselves as Africans and driving demand for more innovation. There is a growing appetite for these innovations, both from African users and global investors, and there is much to be excited about what the future holds.”