AFRICA’S INNOVATION HUB LANDSCAPE
do not provide cash funding à la Y Combinator but instead o ff er services that help entrepreneurs devel- op technical skills and business knowledge. Such hubs include coworking spaces, makerspaces, and innovation hubs and, based on Briter’s data, they make up a larger percentage of hubs in African countries, as can be seen in Figure 2. Players in these categories o ff er a one-stop shop where startups, local stakeholders, donors, and corpora- tions can network and gain access to financial advice, market opportunities, and create links to investors. Nevertheless, in countries with more sophisticated ecosystems, where a venture capital scene is developing in parallel, the number of organisations o ff ering acceleration services, cohort-based programmes, mentoring and funding is growing.
1031 hubs operate in 53 countries in Africa and in over 200 cities across the continent. The most populated ecosystem is Nigeria, with a total of 164 hubs operational in the country, as illustrated in Figure 1, of which 149 are local and 15 international. South Africa and Kenya follow suit with 100 and 90 hubs respectively. North Africa has witnessed fast growth in the past half-decade, with Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco alone counting over 200 hubs. The majority of these organisations are situated in the largest business centres of each country, with Lagos counting at least 54 hubs, followed by Nairobi with 51 hubs, Tunis with 42 hubs, Cape Town and Cairo with 39 each, and Accra with 26. As nascent startup ecosystems outnumber mature ones, resources are not always evenly distributed nor readily available, and a large share of hubs operating on the continent
FIGURE 1: AFRICA’S TECH HUB LANDSCAPE
1031 active innovation hubs across Africa
53% mainly co-working and communities.
45% hubs with support programmes.
36 CÔTE D'IVOIRE
28 DR CONGO
* The heat map depicts the countries with 20+ hubs based on operational geographies.
96 SOUTH AFRICA
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