In Africa, Rwanda, Uganda emerge favorites for tech investors

Rwanda and Uganda are emerging favourite destinations in Africa for investment in information and communications technology.

However, the leading investor destinations in the ICT sector in sub Saharan Africa — Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa — have recorded a decline in investment flows.

According to new data, East Africa attracted $200 million in technology-based investments in 2017, with Kenya accounting for $147 million.

Rwanda and Uganda are starting to get a slice of the investment that has traditionally gone to Kenya, taking in a combined $52.7 million last year out of which $36.7 million went to Rwanda.

A new report by the GSM Association (GSMA), the global lobby for mobile network operators, titled The Mobile Economy in sub-Saharan Africa, shows that Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa accounted for 76 per cent of total funds raised by startups in the region.

“However, the downward trend in the combined share of investments for the three markets, from more than 80 per cent in 2015 and 2016, shows growing investor appetite for other markets, notably Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda,” the report says.

This year has already seen a number of high-profile investments, including a $3.5 million investment in Kenya-based customer feedback platform mSurvey to fund its expansion into Nigeria and South Africa.
Kenya also got $8.6 million Series A funding for mobile solutions start-up Africa’s Talking, led by the International Finance Corporation, alongside Orange Digital Ventures and Social Capital.
Nigeria received $1.1 million in seed funding for its startup, which offers online savings plans to low- and middle-income Nigerians for deposits of small amounts on a regular basis.
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