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Tech hubs: An important tool in digital advancement for Africa

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Technology and Innovation are growing at a very fast pace speed more than ever and we need to respond fast enough to keep up. Africa still has the youngest population in the world and this puts it in a favourable position to take this task. One of the biggest reasons Africa has managed to successfully digitize most of its systems is the creation of hubs which play a significant role in education and information sharing as work spaces.

The tech industries in Africa are receiving a major boost in investment and talent management and systems upgrade, are some of the areas that need attention if we are to advance at the same pace with the rest of the world. Tech hubs are co work spaces where creatives interact and share ideas, and also come up with solutions to some of the problems faced by communities. They have the advantage of sharing electricity, internet, space, and above all brains. Africa has seen an increase in Tech events such as festivals, conferences, competitions, boot camps, and workshops among others, which all work with the aim of educating the masses on the advances technology is making.

In Africa, Over 50% of tech hubs are in five countries: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, and Morocco, these offer monthly or bimonthly events to equip creatives with knowledge and continuously build and strengthen their communities and enterprises.

Hubs are fostering future talent which is hungry to learn and share. Companies have since moved from looking for young graduates from big universities with suit and ties but are getting involved in community hubs and tapping from that talent for the betterment of their companies and communities. This they are doing by taking part in these workshops and tech events, making their brands visible through partnerships as well. Tech hubs are not only community based but are also found virtually online. Groups of creatives coming together to do projects, answer questions from each other, and actively solving problems is on the rise across the world.

From this small to medium tech hubs, through collaboration and partnerships, bigger companies and governments can be roped in to work on bigger problems. Africa’s biggest problems are primarily in health, infrastructure, and urbanization and with the right technology and digital advancement, we should start seeing positive changes in these areas. We have already started seeing drones delivering products from one area to another, soon these will be delivering medicine to remote areas, especially those with bad roads and infrastructure. Giant companies such as Microsoft and Google have already started investing in such projects and will continue doing so through tech hubs.

Slowly the informal sector is going digital and hubs are feeding the education required for this transformation. The South African government is looking at developing the biggest tech hub in Africa, a coding and programming academy as well as co-working and co-creation spaces for the youth and start-ups in particular. This is part of the bigger 4th Industrial Revolution advancement that will change the tech game as we see it. This transition will be characterized by incubators, entrepreneurs, and start-ups in the creative space. Governments really need to play an active role in tech hubs as they are the future of tech advancement and ease of access and security for their products and services.

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