We published a recent article on this site which is predicting that the next Internet Billionaire could come from Africa. Of course many countries in Africa have their economic problems but there’s no doubt that there is huge untapped potential for individuals online. However one of the problems for internet businessmen based in Africa is the barriers that are in place form them.
Let me explain if you want to sell or market products or services online there are certain tools which you’ll need access to. An obvious example is that of a means to receive and make payments, however if you’ve ever tried setting up a Paypal account from Nigeria then you know how difficult it is. The same goes with lots of online payment systems who have found that it is easier to block accounts from these countries due to fraud problems from a small minority.
The more you try and do business online from the African continent, the more you’ll come across these little hurdles that put you at a disadvantage. Doing research is also difficult when agressive filtering or censorship stops you accessing sites like social media or popular networking sites.
It’s not impossible but African entrepreneurs from poorer backgrounds are already at something of a disdvantage. They may have invested heavily in the time for research, there are of course many sites where you can learn about SEO or the latest web sites and techniques like Pinterest automation or utlising Facebook to market products. But many tools and techniques cost money, which although they don’t seem expensive by Western standards can be prohibitively expensive to many.
But we don’t need to be too negative, there’s no doubt that there is some serious potential for Internet based businesses in Africa. Many thousands will certainly seize the opportunity to drag themselves and their families to a better life. Of course education is also another barrier but for those with the skills the internet offers a huge boost to many African entrepreneurs.