Consider These 5 African Countries When Expanding in the IT & Telecom Industry

IT industry in Africa

Big Tech and talent know no borders.

Far from the stereotypes often attached to the level of technology available on the African continent, is a booming IT & Telecom industry that has yet to reach its peak.

In fact, “More tech companies are developing in Africa than in the rest of the world.” wrote the Agence Française de Développement in 2023. With the number of fintech companies alone reaching over 678 in 2023 across Africa, it’s not hard to see how that may be.

So, if you are looking to expand in the IT & Telecom industry, these 5 African countries may just be the gateway to success for you:

1. Kenya: The Silicon Savannah

Kenya, often referred to as the “Silicon Savannah,” is a leading tech hub in Africa. With Nairobi as its crown jewel, Kenya boasts a thriving startup ecosystem, supported by innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit backed by the government. Kenya’s commitment to digital transformation shines through initiatives like Konza Technopolis, a smart city project, and a key part of Kenya’s 2030 economic vision. This smart city aims to be a center for technological innovation in ICT, life sciences, and engineering.
  • Market Potential: Kenya has a significant mobile penetration rate, with mobile subscriptions surpassing 66 million as of 2023. Mobile services like M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer solution, have revolutionized financial transactions, circumventing many issues surrounding the cash challenge in Africa. Additionally, Kenya’s digital economy is growing so exponentially that it is expected to generate 9.24% of the total GDP by 2025.
  • Government Support: The Kenyan government actively supports the IT sector through policies like the National Broadband Strategy, aimed at improving internet access and quality.
  • Infrastructure: Kenya is well-connected through undersea fiber-optic cables, providing robust internet connectivity to power all your projects in the industry.

2. Nigeria: The African Giant

Nigeria is a favorite among investors for many reasons. Being Africa’s most populous country, for instance, it presents a vast market for IT and telecom companies looking to connect people to each other and to the world. Besides, Lagos, the country’s commercial capital, is often dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Africa” thanks to its thriving tech ecosystem.

  • Market Potential: With over 200 million people, Nigeria is home to a massive consumer base – the most massive one across the African continent, in fact. For ambitious investors looking to invest and grow big, Nigeria is the place to be. Better still, the country has over 100 million internet users, making it one of the largest online markets in Africa, an opportunity investors in the IT & Telecom industry cannot ignore. 
  • Investment Climate: Nigeria attracts significant foreign investment, especially in fintech, with companies like Paystack and Flutterwave originating from the West African country. 
  • Start-Up Ecosystem: Lagos also houses Yaba, a district known for its high concentration of tech companies, startups, tertiary education institutions and incubation companies, all coming together to create a vibrant tech community.
  • Success Stories: Nigeria is currently home to Africa’s largest e-commerce platform: Jumia. The successful implementation of such a massive platform shows that Nigeria has what your business needs to thrive.

3. South Africa: The Technological Pioneer

South Africa’s reputation as a leader in technological advancements is well-known. Johannesburg and Cape Town are both key centers for tech innovation and business, with Johannesburg focusing on “ICT skills development, provision of ICT infrastructure, ICT research & development, as well as ICT incubation and venture capital.”

  • Infrastructure: South Africa boasts some of the best IT and telecom infrastructure in Africa. For instance, it ranks #2 for fastest internet on the continent, with Rwanda standing at first place. Behind more populous Egypt and Nigeria, South Africa is also home to over 41 million active internet users. 
  • Market Maturity: The country has a well-developed digital economy, with high internet penetration of 80% and a mature consumer market.
  • Talent Pool: South Africa has a highly skilled workforce, with a strong emphasis on tech education and training.

4. Rwanda: The Rising Star

Rwanda, despite being smaller than most of the other countries in this list, is making significant strides in the IT and telecom sectors. The government’s vision for a knowledge-based economy is driving substantial investments in technology.

  • Government Initiatives: The Rwandan government has implemented policies to promote ICT development, including the Kigali Innovation City, a tech hub designed to attract tech companies and startups, and to house financial investors, academia, and support services. The government has also allocated $100 million to the Kigali Innovation Fund to drive innovation.
  • Connectivity: Rwanda is one of the most connected countries in Africa, with extensive 4G coverage and plans for nationwide fiber-optic networks.
  • Ease of Doing Business: Rwanda ranks highly in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. In Africa, it is second only to Mauritius, and worldwide, Rwanda ranks 38th out of 190 countries in 2020, making it an attractive destination for investors.

5. Egypt: The Gateway to the Middle East and Africa

Egypt serves as a strategic gateway between Africa and the Middle East, with a rapidly growing tech sector centered around Cairo.

  • Market Potential: Much like Nigeria, Egypt has a large population (over 100 million people), which provides a substantial market for IT and telecom services.
  • Government Support: The Egyptian government is heavily investing in the ICT sector, with initiatives like the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) to support startups.
  • Strategic Location: Egypt’s geographical position makes it an ideal hub for operations extending into both Africa and the Middle East, and with comparatively easier access into Europe as well.

Africa HR Solutions can help you thrive in the IT & Telecom Industry

Africa HR Solutions has supported and continues to support companies in the IT & Telecommunications industry across 40+ countries in Africa.

As such, we understand all too well your unique issues, roadblocks, and frustrations. We help you overcome administrative obstacles and navigate complex compliance issues with ease – ultimately enabling your success in the industry and in Africa.

Ready to expand to Africa? Our team is here to help!

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GRANT GERAGHTY - Africa HR Team

GRANT GERAGHTY

HEAD OF CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.

Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.

His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL Africa HR Team

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.

Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.

Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE​

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE

Head of Finance & Business Support

Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.

Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.

In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.

MARK DU PREEZ​

MARK DU PREEZ

Head of Legal & Compliance

A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.

Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.

He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.

Alex Daruty - Africa HR Team

ALEX DARUTY

Head of Commercial

Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.

With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.

His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.

He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.

Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.