the bright future of start-ups on the African continent

(HUAWEI) – By Adnane Ben Halima, Vice President of Public Affairs, Huawei North Africa

Africa today has the youngest population in the world, with more than 400 million people between the ages of 15 and 35. In 2050, the number of inhabitants is expected to reach about 2.4 billion. As a result of this strong demographic growth, the proportion of young people on the continent will also increase considerably. Driven by a strong dynamism and an ambition unparalleled in other places that cannot fail to be praised, this young man makes innovation and creativity the key to responding to the needs identified on the continent. It also seeks to move the lines in a plural and multiple Africa. In this sense, the multiplication in the number of start-ups on the continent reflects this state of effervescence, thus attesting to the strong entrepreneurial potential of Africa. Supporting these young shoots represents a major challenge for the socio-economic development of the countries. At Huawei, we have been focusing on start-ups for several years. The launch of the Spark program, first in Asia-Pacific, then recently in Africa, demonstrates our commitment to business development.

Unleashing the potential of start-ups in Africa

According to Partech Africa’s annual report published in early 2022, injections of funds into the African start-up ecosystem, specifically in the technology sector, have tripled since 2020. These young shoots are more attractive beyond investors, 130 transactions of funding were registered in just 7 weeks. To sustain this dynamic, it is essential to invest in human capital and in the training of talent.

With the future of the African continent, Huawei launched the Spark program, whose objective is to help the most innovative start-ups to develop and grow, whatever their area of ​​activity. First launched in the Asia-Pacific region, where it acted as an accelerator for many startups, it was recently launched in Huawei’s North Africa region, which includes the 28 countries above the Equator, mainly French-speaking. Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt are among the first to see this initiative developed. Through this program, our ambition is to provide all African entrepreneurs with an ideal working environment to unleash their potential. The development of a start-up is conditioned by two essential prerogatives: access to finance, then to markets. It is to respond to these different needs and help these seeds of entrepreneurs to shine and obtain international visibility that Huawei, making its know-how and technical competence, its notoriety, as well as its infrastructure and resources available free of charge. , developed Spark. In fact, this program particularly allows startups to benefit from the business opportunities of the Huawei Cloud ecosystem.

Through it, we highlight the offer of training for selected startups. In addition to training, the three start-ups that we would have identified as the most innovative will have the opportunity to accompany us and participate in major world events, by our side. Huawei will then promote them to its partners, investment funds, customers and donors to increase its international influence and facilitate its access to national and international markets. Ultimately, with Spark, is the construction of an entire ecosystem favorable to business development in Africa in which Huawei participates.

Building a strong ecosystem to sustain entrepreneurship in Africa

The notion of ecosystem seems central here. To develop and evolve, a start-up needs a solid ecosystem, in which several protagonists play a fundamental and defined role. The future of this seed of entrepreneurs in Africa represents a common theme that must be the result of a collective effort between the public and private spheres. The role of governments in developing a legal and legal framework conducive to the development of entrepreneurship as well as improving connectivity in Africa is therefore crucial.

As a provider of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) solutions and infrastructure, Huawei engages daily with the governments of the various countries in the North African region to facilitate the development of the digital economy. For this, the company makes available its technological expertise to facilitate the establishment of a sustainable ecosystem that can benefit everyone, especially those who wish to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure. Through the Spark program, we are willing to give all the technological means, such as our cloud resources and our technical knowledge, to break physical boundaries and give all young Africans who want to broaden the influence of their activities the opportunity to to do it. Essentially focused on the Cloud – this data hosting technology is essential for the development of a large number of business sectors – Huawei’s contribution aims to help start-ups to increase their sense of innovation, increase their competitiveness and accelerate the its growth, so it is a force in the digital economy and in fact, digital transformation in Africa.

Of course, the support we provide them through this program can only be effective if it is preceded by solid training in the new technologies sector. The various programs that we intend to implement on the continent for young talents aim to make these giants in the making, one of the cornerstones of the African digital economy, thus participating in the continent’s growth.

At Huawei, we believe in people, the same people who will be able to make Africa a key player on the international stage and the future Eldorado of Technology. The continent’s creativity is based above all on this dynamic and ambitious population, which sees in the challenges it faces, opportunities for socio-economic growth. Through Spark, it is these young people that we want to approach, offering them solid support that allows them to implant in their country, but also and above all, make them shine internationally.

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