African business leaders are forecasting a surge in spending on tech start-ups as foreign direct investment and improved internet connectivity helps establish the continent as a tech superpower, new research for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows. More than half (54%) of African senior executives expect spending on tech start-ups on the continent will more than double by 2025 to $10 billion or over compared with the $4.9 billion raised last year. Around one in six (16%) believe more than $15 billion will be raised.
The study with African business leaders from companies with total annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion identified foreign direct investment and improving internet connectivity as the key drivers for the expansion. Around three-quarters (75%) believe the investment will come from Western countries while 66% believe China will be a major source of investment. Nearly six out of 10 (57%) believe dramatic improvements in internet connectivity will be the main support for expansion as it drives education, healthcare, and business.
The research among senior executives at companies with average annual revenues of $70 million based in Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa found nearly half (45%) believe Africa will be a tech superpower within 10 years. They point to the development of Africa’s tech ecosystem – nearly 90% of those interviewed expect it to grow by at least half its current size in the next three years with 15% expecting it to double in size during that period.
That in turn will expand Africa’s role in supplying technology to the rest of the world – around 60% of executives expect that to grow in the next five years with one in 10 predicting dramatic expansion.