[Forum] What are the opportunities for the African Tech Industry in 2021?
07-01-2021 15:43:00 | by: Bas Vlugt | hits: 7316 | Tags:

We regularly ask key players for their opinion on current developments in African business and politics.

On this occasion we ask:

What are the opportunities for the African Tech Industry in 2021?

Nixon Kanali Tech Editor for Africa Business Communities2020 was the most disruptive and unprecedented year of our times. Good news is that 2021 is going to be a great year for tech. The covid-19 pandemic altered the usual way of doing things and we should therefore expect a number of innovations on new emerging technologies to adapt to this new normal, mostly from African tech startups.

Here are three emerging trends to look out for in 2021 in Africa:

5G rollout

5G is set to roll out in most countries and become the situation normal. I’m personally looking forward to this. This rollout, led by giant telcos in Africa will make a big difference for many businesses across the continent and remote working will now become a more secure and safer option for African businesses. Some African countries are already gearing up to this. In South Africa for example, Huawei, in partnership with Rain, South Africa’s data-only mobile network, already launched Africa’s first standalone 5G (SA 5G) network. Early in 2020, MTN also went live with Ericsson-powered commercial 5G in the South African cities of Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth... read Nixon's full contribution here

Dennis De Weerd, CEO, Incentro Africa: 2020 has taken everyone off guard, changing economies and industries overnight. Now it is the question, will 2021 bring things back to “normal” or have we permanently changed the way we work. 

I believe it is the latter. Sure, we’ll be spending more time at the office again, but remote working solutions enabled by increasing availability of high speed internet and innovative cloud services have definitely shown relevancy that go beyond a temporary response to the pandemic. 

Creativity has become more important than ever. Companies that are agile are not afraid of change and use innovative technologies to delight their customers are going to be the winners in 2021.

Industries as finance, insurance, retail, etc will see tech startups penetrating the market and delivering a better service at lower expenses to customers, taking over the industry. Old organizations that are slow or unwilling to innovate will run deplete their financial buffers.

Arthur Latim Founder Latim Group:  As Africa meets 4lR, its youth will be its most important assets. But to capture this demographic dividend, African countries must overhaul their education systems to prepare for the coming tech revolution.

While automation could increase skills premiums and exacerbate income inequality, it also could increase productivity and create new occupation for example a data scientist, robotics engineer and lots more.

As such, the 4lR represents a unique opportunity for African countries to leap frog over development hurdles with the help of tech. The 4IR will heavily influence which skills are needed in the labour market... read Arthur's full contribution here

Reem Asaad Vice President of Cisco Middle East and Africa: In 2020, the future of digital transformation arrived faster than anyone could have predicted. Cisco expects this will continue into 2021, with trends initially projected for 2024 becoming a reality much sooner.

Many new innovations are promising big changes in the new year and as the pandemic has highlighted being prepared for the unexpected is critical.

As the pandemic unfolded, we worked with our customers to move from business continuity to business agility. We also helped to deliver and scale innovative application experiences faster than ever before... read Reem's full contribution here

Jose Almeida a Data Management Specialist in Portugal:  Knowing the context of different countries in the region, we can see that the continent is still full of asymmetries, and the same occurs looking at the at the companies operating in the market, we have some, that are effectively breaking ground, with cutting edge solutions and technology, while most are tentatively trying their way into digitization.

In this context, I believe that there will be some continuity with the current tendencies, albeit pushed forward and accelerated by the circumstances brought forward by the COVID-19 pandemic... read Jose's full contribution here


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