The UK’s Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport has launched a scheme to develop next generation of African start-ups. According to a release from the department application process is underway after government ministers and business leaders attended first ever UK-Africa Investment Summit. Africa has a fast-growing tech sector which is driving growth and creating jobs on the continent. Go Global, a scheme run by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through its International Tech Hub Network said it aims to build links with the UK’s thriving digital sector and pave the way for future economic partnerships. The successful programme, which first launched last year, is currently open to firms from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa developing tech solutions in finance, agriculture, health and clean energy. Entrepreneurs who have developed products that are ready to go to market and already raised investment are invited to apply.
Digital Minister Matt Warman said: “Africa is home to a rapidly growing tech sector and it was great to welcome leading figures from across the continent to the recently held UK-Africa Investment summit. Through the Go Global Africa project we are giving entrepreneurs the support they need to grow their business and benefit from the UK’s world-leading tech and innovation expertise. This will allow them to continue developing technology to improve lives around the world. I encourage all those with the talent and ambition to succeed to apply for a place on this exciting project.”
Africa is home to a rapidly growing tech sector. Its start-ups raised 50 per cent more venture capital in 2017 than in 2016. The majority of this is being invested in South Africa (£130 million), Kenya (£114 million) and Nigeria (£89 million). Nigeria’s tech sector generates more than 10 percent of the country’s economic output and the sector is projected to create three million jobs and generate £67.4 billion for the economy by 2021. Kenya’s technology sector is growing rapidly and is worth more than 11 percent of the country’s economic output. It is considered one of the most vibrant, advanced and successful in Africa. South Africa attracted a record amount of investment in tech of any African country in 2017. It raised almost £128m and research by the World Economic Forum ranks it as the best place to do business in Africa.
The Digital Access Programme aims to boost digital skills and connectivity and build the cybersecurity capacity of partner countries. It will also help create a thriving digital ecosystem that will stimulate innovation to address local development challenges, create skilled jobs and generate partnerships between the UK and Africa. The launch of Go Global Africa 2020 coincided with the recently held UK-Africa Investment Summit in London which brought together businesses, governments and international institutions to showcase and promote investment opportunities across Africa. Attendees at the Summit included the participants of the Africa-UK: Female Tech Founders 2020 programme which saw 15 of Africa’s most ambitious women entrepreneurs visit the UK for a three-day programme to learn how to grow their business, access world-class mentoring from UK tech leaders and network with investors.