I was very pleased to be invited to do a presentation to Intelliverse AI who are based in Narobi, Kenya. It’s my first contact with Africa for a little while, although I do get many ‘friend’ requests from there.
Some might ask why I might be so interested in an IT company based in Kenya, in a place where perhaps I am unlikely to visit.
There’s a lot happening in Africa at the moment. Although the rate of growth isn’t as fast as in Asia, it shows a very solid annual growth of over 4% pa, and since the start of the Millennium has proved to be a steady and attractive focus for investors. Eight of the fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, with potential for quicker growth over the next 20 years.
By 2050, a quarter of the world’s population will be in Africa, and with less conflict on the continent than historically known, technology offers the potential to revolutionise many sectors.
Localised issues for the African economy especially includes agriculture and education. Relatively low labour costs challenge traditional ‘Western’ approaches to ROI, so it is important to be clear about benefit cases – which may be both hard and soft.
As the UK continues to seek new trade deals post Brexit, looking to the African market for answers, Africa sees the UK as a source of investment and support in key areas of science and technology, creating what seems like a bidirectional win-win.
As relations with China continue to be unclear, it will be interesting to see if (and to what degree) our interests turn to the African continent – and also how my own personal interests turn in that direction as well.