I always have, and would always say that Tech startups are the future of this continent until we actually reach that future. With the rapid emergence of tech startups in Africa, despite the unfavourable playing ground, I think the above statement holds. But given the present state, I wouldn’t mind if you think otherwise.
Tech startups in various forms
One thing that has drawn my attention, and made me love the totality of Tech startups is that it can come in different ways. It can come in a single form of just an internet startup that provides a platform for buyers and sellers, job hunters and employers, friends and family and much more.
It could also come as an e-commerce platform that enables customers to go the market even while still in their room. Even this has been extended to readymade foods and all, where you can order food without actually going to a restaurant. These and more are what tech startups have proven to offer us as a people, and I must be clear on the fact that they have lifted an enormous burden, and made life easy for customers.
But then, if we take a deeper look at this, we would discover all what we claim these tech startups has offered us is just a mere tip of the iceberg. There is more to come, but the thing is we haven’t fully harnessed the present, which then brought the conclusion that they are the future. Stay with me.
Take the e-commerce startups for example; they have made buying and selling so easy that it is now at your fingertips. The days of the hustle and bustle of going to the market will gradually be a thing of the past if we can take advantage of this to the maximum. I see a time where markets would be somewhat deserted, and almost all purchases and sales would be done online. The likes of Jumia, Konga, the5kshop have all done tremendous jobs here.
Do you want us to talk about the transportation startups? You should know how well the likes of Uber, Taxify, SmartCab, TuleTaxi have changed the face of transportation. Even though their activities might just be limited to a certain “urban” cities, it is certain that in the nearest future, the majority of Africans would be active users of cab hailing platforms. By the way, did you read about a new cab hailing platform in the University of Ilorin, Nigeria?
On the internet platforms that brings people of same interest together, I’d begin with startups in the niche of Jobberman, JobHunters. Because of the advent of these, the number of employment seekers walking from Lagos to Abeokuta in search for job is now very small. Years ago, it was the trademark of fresh graduates to do a tour of their resident cities before getting jobs, but its all in the past now as these startups have carved a future for us.
Real estate and property
ToLet.com.ng, an estate listing site, RentALodge.ng a student’s hostel listing site, Car45, a used cars listing site, OgaVenue.com.ng, an event centres listing site have all change the way we rent and buy houses and other properties. Very soon, if your property for sale or rent is not listed on these sites, you wouldn’t even find a buyer.
Finally, FinTech startups are helping the African continent achieve its dream of a cashless economy. VoguePay, SimplePay, PayStack, mPesa and a lot more like it have actually made tremendous strides. If I see a cashless Africa in the future, then it lies with these FinTech startups.
At this point, I believe you will agree with me when I restate that Tech Startups are the future of this continent. You have an opposing view? Please do let us know.