Monique Maddy at TechCrunch has an overview of Africa's technical growing pains and related challenges. As anywhere else, the future depends on connectivity. However, the continent represents only 10 percent of the total Internet users in the world, despite representing 16 percent of the world population.
The scale and complexity of Africa’s technical landscape sits at the heart of the problem, and connectivity issues are particularly prevalent. Internet users in Africa represent only 10 percent of the total users in the world, despite representing 16 percent of the world population, according to Internet World Stats. And only 31 percent of the total population has access to the internet, which represents a penetration that is well below the rest of the world at 52 percent.
[...] Africa is at a technical tipping point. To survive and thrive in this diverse and highly complex marketplace, we need businesses that are flexible and capable of adapting both their products and their business models, which can most effectively work with local companies and talent to develop and promote local content and digital solutions while leveraging the power of the smartphone and widespread connectivity.
Barriers to growth include use of zero-rating by some of the world's largest players as they try to both push into the region while setting up obstacles to entry by competitors. She also asks how large Western companies plan to see a return on investment or whether Chinese companies will beat them to the punch.
Source : The intensifying battle for Africa’s burgeoning tech landscape [techcrunch.com]