Accelerating Tech-enabled Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa: A two-sector assessment
Conference: International Academy of African Business and Development Conference 2019
Dates: 8-11 May 2019Abstract:
There is a general tendency to believe that adverse geography, weak institutions, and general lack of resources had constituted to Africa’s inability to develop and be innovative. However, despite the hostile environment of doing business in Africa, variations in performances exist where some countries progress, others stagnate and yet others retrogress. These variations are arguably attributable to technological advancements and how these are deployed to navigate the hostile business environment that has come to characterise Sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, since the arrival of the Internet, the speed and distance across countries and regions have shrunk dramatically – thus creating equal opportunities for entrepreneurs globally – but this needs to be illustrated with insightful case studies. We contend that, while on one hand, digital platforms have created equal access, many digital entrepreneurs in Africa, on the other hand, still struggle with local environments replete with corruption, and other economic inefficiencies. Consequently, this study covers media-tech and agri-tech businesses to highlight some of the opportunities and challenges that have shaped current business practices in this context.