Bosun Tijani who is the CEO of the Co-Creation Hub (ccHub) spoke about the need to increase the efforts on the national mobile broadband internet plan, its role in bringing FDI into Nigeria among various issues to be expected in 2018. The CcHUB has remained to be vital in the development of the African. During the CEO address to ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, he talked about the issues that are affecting the African startups and in connection with mobile broadband penetration.
Bosun said that the main challenges posed to the African startups are not only experienced in Nigeria but it’s throughout the African continent. The number of people who can access the internet has a greater influence to the development of the incubation hubs in Africa since the higher the number, the higher the opportunities for startups to offer business to the people. Internet access is one of the major challenges that affect the African startups.
The huge gap between the higher institution of learning and industries has led to the low number of qualified personnel with technical skills. There is the need for a good number of well-trained software engineers who can add value to the already existing startups. Africa is running short of that pool of professions. There is also a higher demand for the African talents by the foreign countries. This calls for the continent to not only concentrate on the local market but also keep an eye on the foreign market too.
Africa is in the same state that India was in a good number of years ago when it used to supply technical skills to the whole world. The continent has what it takes to maximize the opportunities and create value. That calls for much investment in the training of more software development and technical experts that will allow the growth of technology side of an ecosystem in Africa. The strategic investment by both the private sector and government is also causing a hitch to the startup development in the continent.
Broadband networks are important for African economic growth. Ability to communicate is vital to how wealth is being created. It is an essential tool for improvement of businesses because communication is needed for economic and country growth. The fact that we are living in a more digital era than before makes broadband to be an important infrastructure for all the economies. An efficient and effective broadband infrastructure also gives the Africans who are in the diaspora a chance to build their nations while they are away through fast and efficient communication across different borders.
Therefore, it calls for the African governments to embrace the urgency in intensifying awareness and full penetration of broadband as this would enhance the continent’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. Broadband is a major enabler. Without broadband, the tech startup is almost impossible. It is the backbone upon which businesses are built.
The penetration has attracted the attention of foreign investors into the African market. The GSMA did a review for 2016 and, it was estimated that African startups raised a record-breaking investment worth $366.8 million. With the top 10 destinations being Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Uganda. This shows just how much money was raised by startups in the different markets in Africa. Nigeria is top in Africa taking in $109million, then South Africa at $96.8million, with Kenya and Rwanda following at $92.7million and $16million respectively. Africa is rated amongst the best, and that is attributed to the broadband penetration.