Technology has long been seen as one of the possible saviours of the African economy. The problem has always been lack of infrastructure both networks and telecommunications however this is a problem that is being solved gradually. There are lots of centres of investment in Africa which are focussed on the upgrading of the digital infrastructure. IT makes sense, it’s the biggest untapped market on the planet and many large multinationals are active on the continent.
Today tech industry innovations are popping up not just in California but in emerging markets like Ethiopia. Well, Ethiopia has Sheba Valley as its emerging technology hub. There are a couple of examples of emerging technology companies changing lives in Ethiopia, from how communication is done to the way in which the banking sector operates.
One of the most important opportunities is that there are lower level possibilities in the digital economy for ordinary African entrepreneurs. There may not lead to large national size corporations, but have the ability to make a real difference to real people as a source of income and revenue. Africans still have some disadvantages to overcome, such as access to digital payment processors and some excessive filtering. However there are real technical options to assist with these using remote mailing addresses and British proxy server technology in order to bypass these blocks by changing IP address.
Among the investment portfolios of American Billionaire Tim Drapper is Nigeria’s PAGA financial solutions. The platform was built, maintained and is now being supported by engineers from Apposit, a software technology firm based in Ethiopia.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) development including emotion detection & voice/facial recognition has been designed and created by AI specialists of Icog-Labs in Ethiopia. Co-created with American writer Ben Goertzel, Icog-labs is the first Ethiopian research and development lab specialising in AI.
Gebeya has its head quarters and training centre in Ethiopia and has graduated over 70 innovators from all around Africa.
A taxi hailing service that integrates text messaging & app/online booking and e-payment solutions has been developed by a Business dubbed YENEPAY, an internet payment solution that has been designed by young Builders in Ethiopia, is unlocking e-commerce chances in the nation.
Add to this the fact a new Deloitte report referred to Ethiopia as a ‘A developing Miracle’ . According to this report, the African country is among the best destinations for infrastructure investment. Infrastructure remains a significant challenge and whilst Ethiopia might have the talent pool there’s a gap in the shape of resources, direction, mentorship, and business skills.