LONDON – The most innovative and exciting development-focused startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were among those that took part in the first Go Global Africa programme recently.
Go Global is an innovation scheme which supports startups to improve their business skills and capability, build links with the UK’s thriving technological sector and work with UK expertise to take their firms to the next level.
The programme was started by the UK Israel Tech Hub and has over the last four years helped develop new UK-Israel collaborations in the digital economy.
Not only does the scheme help firms in the host country but it also plays a vital part in making links for UK startups in these new markets. And with young populations, five of the world’s fastest growing economies and a thirst for innovation, Africa is a continent alive with opportunity.
The technological sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Africa, where startups raised 50 per cent more venture capital in 2017 than in 2016, the majority being invested in South Africa (£130 million), Kenya (£114m) and Nigeria (£89m).
Nigeria and Kenya’s technology sectors are growing rapidly and generate more than 10 per cent and 11 per cent of their respective economic output.
Strengthening the UK’s partnership with African nations is a key element of the government’s commitment to reinvesting in the UK’s relationships across the world, expanding and deepening the nation’s overseas network, working with others to face challenges and advancing common interests.
“It is fantastic to welcome these talented entrepreneurs to the UK. Africa is a vibrant and dynamic continent, with huge potential for growth, and the firms chosen for the first Go Global Africa programme see tech as a force for good in society,” said Digital Minister, Margot James.
The startups, selected from more than 400 applicants, are developing cutting-edge products and services in industries including fintech, healthcare, agri-tech and water management.
They will receive coaching from pitching experts Enterprise Academy, a public speaking masterclass, and advice on scaling up from PriceWaterHouseCoopers dedicated startup team and the Natwest Fintech Accelerator.
Following the programme, the startups will receive ongoing support from the UK’s International Tech Hub Network, which now spans three continents and has seven hubs.