Technology start-ups are exploding across the continent as Africa enters a new era of innovation. Not only has this resulted in the boosting of local economies, but it’s also presented an exciting, fresh new image for the continent – one that challenges stereotypical beliefs and showcases Africa in a brand new light to international tourists.
So what’s behind this new wave of start-ups sweeping across the continent? According to the latest World Travel Market (WTM) Global Trends Report, Africa has had three years of solid economic growth, resulting in the ideal investment environment for new technology-focused projects.
Stand aside Silicon Valley, because Africa cities from Ghana to Kenya are all developing major technology hubs, most of which include hotel infrastructure. For example, Hope City is a technology park planned in Ghana, estimated to house around 50 000 employees all working in software design and manufacturing. In Kenya, the Konza Technology City development, 60km outside of Nairobi, will be a hub for software development and other IT companies.
Added to this, Africa’s growing culture of IT innovation has led to a growing number of travel-focused start-ups. A handful of examples include:
· Hotels.ng is Nigeria’s largest hotel booking site, listing over 7 000 hotels with plans to expand to the rest of West Africa.
· AwesomeSouthAfrica.com has developed an app that uses location-based data so suggest local restaurants, hotels and activities.
· Amption Venture Bus enables entrepreneurs to travel around the region to aid local developers and has already seen the creation of more than 30 local start-ups.
All of this is excellent news for the African travel industry, as the continent’s new high-tech hubs and dynamic entrepreneurial drive will attract a flood of business travellers to the region – and of course, hot on their heels, leisure travellers are sure to follow.