Africa is poised to be the next technology hub with its large (and relatively untapped) consumer base and big-name tech companies like Google and Microsoft investing in the emerging market. With some experts referring to Africa as technology’s next frontier, the continent is bursting with opportunity, boasting a market of over a billion people and innovations that run the gamut—crowdsourcing websites, messaging clients, digital agencies and ecommerce platforms, among other technologies.
The budding climate has created a prime opportunity for the startup community. Here, Mashable highlights startups changing the tech landscape:
With chat messaging clients being highly popular across Africa, Saya Mobile, an instant messaging and SMS service, builds upon such services. A product of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), based in Accra, the app works with across various platforms such as iOS, Android, and Blackberry.
Starting as a website developed to map reports of the violence surrounding the 2008 Kenyan election, Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, has transformed into a tech non-profit. Ushahidi specializes in developing free open-source software for data collection and visualization.
Digital and mobile advertising platform AdsBrook provides a network of channels for advertisers to run integrated campaigns. Operating in West Africa, the company is reportedly expanding across the continent.
Founder Dr. Olumide Olusanya traded in his white coat to run online grocery business Gloo.ng. The company now employs over 100 people.
Mara Online (Uganda)
Referred to as “Africa’s answer to Skype,” Mara Online allows users to communicate, interact and collaborate with each other on the family of online and mobile platforms.