Africa’s development, both economically and politically, is in part underlined by technological development. With over 400 tech and innovation hubs across the continent, more and more Africans are creating tech-based solutions to solve local issues in their regions. With an array of tech hubs headed by multinationals like Cisco, Google and Orange, African entrepreneurs are well-positioned to tap into technological potential as the continent continues its digital transformation.
Innovative and forward-thinking MNCs like those mentioned above are looking to set the standard in Africa’s digital transformation, and many others will likely follow. With this in mind, businesses and investors should closely monitor shifting tech-related trends and regulations to account for the introduction of new technologies and adjust their market strategies accordingly. Prioritisation of markets that are providing a conducive environment for digital transformation will be key – Nigeria and South Africa lead the way, with Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal and Uganda also making waves.
Renewable energy investment in Africa: Increasing emphasis on participation in decentralised power generation
Investment in Africa’s renewable energy capacity has been growing steadily over the last decade under the banner of viable greenfield projects in Africa, particularly related to solar photovoltaic (PV), hydropower and offshore wind. South Africa has been the largest recipient of renewable investments, particularly solar and wind, with Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and Morocco also experiencing an influx.
It will be important for businesses and investors with vested interests in African energy sectors to monitor evolving regulatory changes as new Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are included in generation activities. As IPP participation increases, governments (like Kenya and South Africa) will begin to set up Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) to regulate the sale of electricity from IPPs to central utilities. Also essential will be to consider lacking transmission and distribution infrastructure which, in many cases, would have to be created through separate greenfield projects. As new IPPs increase their participation in power generation, grid interconnectivity will need to be considered more strongly.