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In Economic Downturn, African ICT Heats Up

By Wayan Vota on September 28, 2009

While the Great Recession may be shrinking the appetite for business risk in the developed world, I was struck by the long list of African technology startups compiled by TechMasai. Even better are the comments, where readers take exception that this list of 56 companies is the complete list of startups.

New business even online

They have a good point. This list is only of the startups that TechMasai has heard of. I am sure there are 2-3x as many operating under the radar, and enjoying good profits before others notice their lucrative business models and compete against them.

But its not just little guys who are making moves into the African ICT community. Even massive stalwarts like IBM are now realizing that Africa is a real IT market, with their cloud-computing enabled netbook software partnership with Ubuntu.

I agree with Theresa Carpenter Sondjo that Africa may not be ready for the cloud-computing IBM is thinking of – the connectivity isn’t there yet – but I disagree with her about netbooks. These small and cheap laptops are a real alternative to regular computers and the 4P Computing revolution will change the way Africans approach technology.

And its time we all approached African technologists – as partners and employees. Find both at Zebrajobs.com, the first Africa-wide Virtual Job Fair that opens on September 30th 2009. While it too relies on broadband Internet that can be rare or expensive in Africa, its online location is still cheaper and easier to reach than a physical job fair.

See ya there!

Filed Under: Opportunity
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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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