When Innovation is Driven by Necessity

Talented young tech workers want to transform Ethiopia by finding unique solutions to local problems – and with a new prime minister, now may be their time.

Half of Africa’s tech hubs are found in only four countries: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. These same countries account for three quarters of the funds raised by start-ups – funds which are rising rapidly as investors are drawn to the continent. In 2018 alone there was a four-fold increase in start-up funding compared to the previous year.

Last year Abiy Ahmed, 42, was elected prime minster of Ethiopia and quickly made his mark with a series of sweeping reforms, including the release of thousands of political prisoners and the restoration of diplomatic relations with Eritrea.

Also among his policies are changes to business, finance, telecoms and education, signalling that technology is now a priority for the government. With this in mind, some believe that Addis Ababa could soon become one of Africa’s leading innovation centres, potentially rivalling Nairobi, Lagos or Cape Town.

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