Kenya Contributes 9% of the 700k Developers in Africa


It has always been known that Africa is the next frontier of tech, with the continent registering various milestones over the last couple of years. This case has since been echoed by Google Africa, which reports that the continent is served by more than 700k developers that have significantly contributed to its internet economy.

Google Africa adds that the e-Conomy of Africa has the potential to generate $180b by 2025. This will effectively boost productivity in agriculture, healthcare, and financial services, to mention a few.

At the moment, there are 1.3 billion people in Africa, a number that might double to near 2.5 billion in 2050. So far, the region is registering notable growth in urban and mobile populations.

By 2019, up to 40% of African were reported to be digitally connected. This was a 10 percent jump that will lead to 2.5% increase in GDP per capita.

Google estimates that 45% of the African population will be living in cities by 2025.

Some of these developments have been attributed to infrastructure investments that have driven increased access to affordable and high-speed internet.

There are pro-innovator legislations, including Kenya’s Startup Act and the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Also, the 700k developers are involved in e-commerce and fintech, which are marked as primary sections driving the digital economy.

Major takeaways

Digital consumption growth is accelerated by fast-growing urban and mobile populations, that have notable effects and potential to the economy. Internet penetration, for instance, has hit the 40% mark as of 2020. Increasing it further to 75% can create up to 44 million new jobs.

Secondly, the tech ecosystem is driven by dynamic developer and startup landscape. There is no denying that the continent is a cradle of some of the most talented developers and internet busines people and leaders. The 700k professional developers are also reported to be concentrated in Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

Internet infrastructure investments are also boosting connectivity. Fast connectivity has been availed to people thanks to sub-sea cable investments, as well as terrestrial fibre-optic infrastructure that has led to rapid growth in international internet capacity.

Google also says that its sub-sea cable named Equiano will be completed in 2022.

As said, regulation consistency can help bolster investments and opportunities for startups. We have since examined the Kenya case, which can be read here.

“Startup acts and regional harmonization are initiatives that are driving mutually beneficial growth. It is important for entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers to continue dialogue, encouraging environments where digital businesses can thrive,” reads a statement from Google Africa.

Sectors leading the way in Africa’s digital transformation

  1. Fintech – ‘Startups building solutions to support the population that is financially excluded but gaining access to mobile technology. Fintech startups remain the top destination for funding, receiving 54% of all startup investment in 2019.’
  2. E-commerce – ‘Growth driven by improvement payments landscape, rise in mobile tech, and mobile money tech adoption. In 2019, $134 million in funding was attributed to e-Commerce, indicating both an increase in funding and number of deals.’

Others include health the, media and entertainment, taxi apps and logistics.

Developers: by numbers and country

Country Professional devs % total f Africa
South Africa120K17%
Ivory Coast10K2%
Rest of Africa220K32%