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Africa: The New Technology Frontier

Eunice Baguma Ball Monday, 16 March 2015.

For a while now, Africa has been considered an increasingly important market for global business.

However, not until the last decade has it been looked at seriously as a source of growth opportunities in the technology sector.

Now as Africa's billion-plus population continues to adopt technology at unprecedented rates, international tech powerhouses are increasingly targeting Africa for investment and new growth opportunities.

In 2013, IBM opened up a global research laboratory in Nairobi, the first commercial technology research facility in Africa.

Google has also been highly active on the continent, especially in supporting tech hubs across Africa through their Google for Entrepreneurs programme. In 2013, they announced their first investment in Africa: a $12 million investment in a 96 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

For some companies, Africa has provided a lifeline. Blackberry, whose global market share famously collapsed from 50% in 2009 to less than 3% today, is still a leading brand in Africa where it holds 40% and 70% of the smartphone market in Nigeria and South Africa respectively - Africa's two largest economies.

Wisely, BlackBerry are now looking to position themselves as a money transfer service. Given the remittances market in emerging markets is estimated at over $500 billion, this move could prove to be BlackBerry's ticket to making a global comeback.

At the Africa Technology Business Network, we encourage UK tech entrepreneurs and businesses to look beyond the UK and start to tap into vast opportunities that exist in developing markets across Africa.

Which is why on the 29th April, we will host our first Africa TechPitch event in London. This will be an evening pitch event aimed at showcasing high-potential, high-impact Africa-relevant start-ups, ideas and businesses.

We are looking for disruptive, innovative ideas and solutions that leverage technology to address the unique needs of consumers in the African market, create greater opportunities for trade with Africa and empower African businesses and entrepreneurs to access global markets.

Join us and meet the start-ups who are following in the steps of tech giants to grasp the new opportunities created by technology in Africa.

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Eunice Baguma Ball

Eunice Baguma Ball

Eunice Baguma Ball is the Founder of the Africa Technology Business Network.

A platform created to build a bridge between the tech communities in the UK and Africa.
We aim to foster collaboration, skill sharing and co-innovation between the two tech ecosystems, with the goal of sparking disruptive, Africa-focused innovation with the potential to unlock lucrative global opportunities for both the UK and African economies.

Through our series of informative events, we provide insights into the Africa tech scene and connect UK-based entrepreneurs & investors to opportunities in the sector.

We also aim to support the budding local tech communities across Africa by providing a plug into the more developed ecosystem in the UK and a platform for African tech startups and entrepreneurs to reach a global audience of potential investors, mentors and clients.

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