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Saturday, 5 November 2011


The narrative on Africa is still by and large dominated by doom and gloom. However, there is some anecdotal evidence that the largely negative portrayal is beginning to engender less power. The economic rate at which African countries are growing coupled with a spurt in tech based entrepreneurship is forcing the world to take note. From the enormous growth in mobile phone users to mobile phone based e-commerce Africa continues to break records in the number of subscriptions and usage.

In the article – Want to become an internet millionaire? Move to Africa, David Rowan, Editor of the Technology Magazine – WIRED adds his voice to the growing band of global tech writers taking note of Africa’s recent successes and potential. As he states in his article “when one telco alone, Bharti Airtel, recently announced $13 billion in African revenue last year, you know it’s time to abandon our traditional assumptions”

An excerpt of David Rowan’s article is below.

If you want to become extremely wealthy over the next five years, and you have a basic grasp of technology, here’s a no-brainer: move to Africa.

Seriously. The internet is only now arriving, and — with a billion people on the continent still mostly offline — there exists a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the next Zyngas, eBays and Groupons for a huge untapped local market. You need only look at the map of huge broadband fibreoptic cables currently being laid on both east and west coasts, from Djibouti to Dakar, to understand how quickly and ambitiously an entire continent is being connected. It’s like being back in 1995 again, and realising there might just be a market for an online bookshop or auction website.

Don’t take my word for it: David Cameron is so keen to give British entrepreneurs a foothold that he recently took a high-level delegation of corporate CEOs to Nigeria and South Africa to highlight “one of the greatest economic opportunities on the planet”. The trip — featuring the bosses of firms such as Barclays and Bombardier, Vodafone and Virgin Atlantic — was hailed by Downing Street as “a historic visit to a continent with a trillion dollar economy and the potential, according to the IMF, to grow faster than Brazil over the next five years”. Much of that growth will come from startups that bring the mobile internet to businesses and consumers who have until now been offline

Full article here.

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