Tech hubs shape the future of Africa
Digital skills and technology play a crucial role in driving entrepreneurship among youth in Africa
Entrepreneurship has proved to be a key player in the development of any economy. When young people engage in business activities in various sectors there are numerous benefits such as job creation, an increase in foreign exchange and an immense contribution to solving socio-economic problems.
The youth are key in driving entrepreneurship forward. As Africa is the world’s youngest continent, with about 65% of the population below the age of 35, it is well placed for steady economic growth (Tracey and Kahuthia 2017).
As Zambia's first technology and innovation hub, BongoHive has supported young entrepreneurs through various programmes with innovation and technology at our work's core.
Technology supports entrepreneurship among young people by making it easier for them to learn new skills and to look for opportunities, not only in Africa, but in the world at large. This is possible through digital platforms that facilitate networking and interactions with key players around the world.
Moreover, technology opens up both local and international markets to young people who can implement their digital skills in different workforces.
Tech hubs such as BongoHive play a cardinal role in supporting entrepreneurship as they provide a platform where young entrepreneurs can learn, collaborate and share the skills and opportunities needed to incorporate innovative ideas in their businesses.
Information technology services support entrepreneurship as they make the delivery of products and services more efficient, owing to lower costs along the value chain. This in turn contributes positively to economic development, creating jobs and improving people’s quality of life.
To further enhance the impact that digital skills and technology have on entrepreneurs in Africa, we believe that these skills need to be embedded in the education sector as a way of exposing people to ways in which they can apply digital solutions to societal problems.
In the end, an education system that incorporates digital skills is necessary for young people to create products and services that solve real problems.
The high cost of accessing online platforms is one of the challenges that is prevalent across Africa, as not everybody has access to facilities and equipment that can support an online presence.
Unfortunately, young people may not always have the opportunity or platform to put their acquired digital skills into practice.
That is why we encourage young people to explore more options and solutions that lie within technologies. Technology is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to solve problems, through entrepreneurship.
We would hope that policymakers make the internet more accessible by creating more platforms for young entrepreneurs to learn and implement digital skills. They are our future.