Why the continent’s digital prospects look bright (and are getting brighter)
Africa is the last frontier of large global expansion opportunities for western companies. Despite its almost 1.4 billion people, 500 million+ internet users, and 330 million+ e-commerce consumers1, Africa is still not on the radar for many businesses or investors outside the continent.
Now, companies that missed out on the meteoric growth of India and China have one final opportunity to secure a foothold in a large, fast-growing marketplace. With countries across Africa rapidly modernizing and showing promising signs of growth, now is the time to seriously consider this market before the first-mover opportunity window closes.
Accenture was recently commissioned by Google to conduct an extensive primary and secondary research into the African tech ecosystem. We surveyed 1600 software developers and interviewed more than 25 tech start-ups, investors, and other enabling tech ecosystem players to understand the conversation around this space.
Here’s what we found and why it matters for your business.
On the brink of a tech explosion
Across Africa, the internet-based economy is on the rise. In the past decade alone, several African nations have achieved sustained growth in internet-driven GDP (iGDP)2 – in many cases doubling from 1.5% to more than 3% since 20123.
Some countries are on an especially rapid trajectory. For example, by 2050, the share of the economy powered by the internet (the iGDP) in Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, and South Africa will be approximately 6%, similar to where the US is today. While others, like Ghana, are set to reach between 4%-5% iGDP, comparable to Brazil’s present level.
Buoyed by these exciting trends, the internet economy could contribute up to: