In Africa, the silicon Savannah could be a gold mine for exporters

  • In Africa, the silicon Savannah could be a gold mine for exporters
    Independent.t. E.
    The East African Rift valley, generally considered to be the area where modern humans first appeared. Fast forward 200,000 years and it is the ‘cradle of humanity’ was economic revival.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/small-business/africas-silicon-savannah-could-be-a-gold-mine-for-exporters-37185505.html
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The East African Rift valley, generally considered to be the area where modern humans first appeared. Fast forward 200,000 years and it is the ‘cradle of humanity’ was economic revival.

Last year three of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world were located in East Africa. The African Development Bank (ADB) predicts growth of 5.9 PC in the region this year and 6.1 PC in the year 2019, with Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda all reporting GDP growth of more than 5pcs.

Trade between Ireland and Africa is also on the rise, projected to reach €24 billion by 2020. This year in East Africa will be the fastest growing continent region. It is not surprising that a growing middle class in the region, estimated to be about 10-15pcs of its 430 million people, is on the radar for exporters.

Opportunities abound to other valuable sectors, such as health care, FINTECH and ICT. Nairobi, capital of Kenya, is the basis of transformation in East Africa. Indeed, its reputation as a centre for information and communication technology of Kenya earned the moniker ‘Silicon Savannah’. It was in Kenya, which pioneered mobile technology money.

E-wallet that allows users to store, send and receive money using your mobile phone is transformed, as many Africans get their pay and spend money.

The service is actively used by approximately 66pc of all adults in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Dublin-supplier of oxygen 8 offers solutions for mobile payments through its subsidiaries Tola in Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, and Ghana in West Africa.

Group CTO Shay Hamilton explains: “East Africa is growing rapidly.

“Of course, some will be coming from a low base, but the emerging middle class means there are more opportunities to come and sell, especially in the digital space, because of the prevalence of pay is a mobile infrastructure, combined with the services of mobile payments.”

Key recommendations for small and medium enterprises who would like to break into East African markets, to ensure that you have a strong local partner.

Ruth Barnes-Director of business operations at vitro software, which provides medical record software a rapidly growing private health sector. “We have a partner in Kenya and to work very closely with them,” she says. “But even when you have a partner, it is very important to travel and on the ground there. They are extremely warm and affectionate people. The relationship is all important and necessary to invest in building these relationships first and foremost.”

Pricing is another issue that Vitro has focused on. “African people are not very tech savvy. They are open to innovation, but the price should be achievable, because while growth in East Africa is strong, they are still developing countries. If you are willing to be flexible in terms of models and prices, there are opportunities.”

Peter Mckenty, a telecommunication provider of software technology NSC draws Parallels between the opportunities in East Africa today and those in Ireland in the 1990-ies. “Great software, telecommunications we started suitable for helping telecommunications companies in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

“We have developed a number of programs for fiber deployment, but also a lot of asbestos and deployment in East Africa, like Ireland in the 1990-ies, when the market opened up and new players have come.”

In the modern realities of Eastern Africa vary greatly from the Western image of the region in the late 20th century.

Enterprise Ireland can assist exporters with an eye on the experimental Silicon Savannah to determine sector opportunities and make introductions to potential partners and buyers, and advise on important procedures, barriers of market entry and licensing requirements.

If you want to know more, please contact me at Lisa.Kallback@enterprise-ireland.com.

Lisa Kallback is the sales representative of Kenya at enterprise Ireland.

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