10 African Tech Trends That Will Define 2018

By Peter Pedroncelli AFKI Original Published: January 15, 2018, 3:32 am
African tech trends - Somalia's first ever innovation tech hub, iRise, has launched in Mogadishu. Photo - TechcabalAfrica will experience growth in numerous tech spheres during 2018. Photo - Techcabal

With 2018 well and truly upon us, it makes sense to consider the African tech trends that will feature during this year.

From new technology and the kinds of tech startups that will likely be attracting investments, to considerations with regards to cyber security as a focus, 2018 has a great deal to offer the tech discussion in Africa.

Here are 10 African tech trends that will define the year 2018.

Sources: ITNewsAfrica, CNBCAfrica, Cisco, Businesstech.

Bos Twitter Vending Machine

Machine Learning is already part of the software in many devices – mmaglobal.com

Machine learning will be a major trend in 2018

While machine learning is already a big part of many of the things we own and do, written into the software on our phones, in our cars and homes, improving our lives on a daily basis, the coming year is likely to see another major shift towards machine learning – with most software products predicted to incorporate machine learning in some form by 2020.

Google is one of many tech companies investing in Africa

Google is one of many tech companies investing in Africa. Photo – TechDemi

Major international tech players becoming local in Africa

With the youngest population on the planet currently growing up in Africa, major international brands are beginning to understand the value of adopting a local approach to markets they wish to do well in. This is the case in Africa, with brands such as Google increasing their local presence and investment with offices and products built for local audiences.

Data Centers - Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder

Amazon is considering cloud data infrastructure in South Africa. Photo: Joe Klamar/Getty

Cloud services will continue to dominate for business

This year will see cloud services dominate many important discussions at business level, as the amount of data and the need to analyse that data continues to grow at an increasing rate. Cloud services will therefore gain influence with African businesses.

blockchain opportunities - South African banks

Blockchain opportunities continue to grow in Africa. Image: gigaom.com

Blockchain to provide more solutions to African problems

The secure, encrypted technology called blockchain not only tackles issues surrounding trust, but fills data gaps and increases reliability. While cryptocurrency is the most recognizable application of blockchain, their are far more that can positively impact Africa and provide solutions to problems with cross border payments, energy investment and land rights, to name a few.

Anonymous Africa launches cyber attack against SABC over censorship. Photo - TVwithThinus

African nations need to be prepared to defend against cyber attacks. Photo – TVwithThinus

Cyber security comes into focus

With all of the cyber security threats that appeared in 2017, it stands to reason that 2018 will see an added focus on the subject, and unfortunately, more attacks are expected. Machine learning and artificial intelligence may present useful allies for the cyber security world in 2018.

Video streaming service iflix CEO Mark Britt. Photo: Tech in Asia

Video streaming service iflix CEO Mark Britt. Photo: Tech in Asia

Videos, videos and more videos

People are expected to consumer more online video this year and in the years to come, especially on mobile devices. Research from Cisco indicates that IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021, partly driven by a doubling of video-on-demand traffic between 2016 and 2021.

African tech startups have the ability to achieve further success with more venture capital availability. Photo - AfriZap

African tech startups have the ability to achieve further success with more capital availability. Photo – AfriZap

Investment in African tech to grow rapidly

Africa’s rapidly-expanding population is looking to technology to solve an array of problems, and more corporations and organizations from around the world are aiming to contribute to the continent’s tech ecosystem growth story. During 2017, many new accelerators and incubators emerged, and there has been a noticeable uptick in investment in early stage startups.

Small business loan - Nigerian e-commerce - cashless e-commerce

A Jumia worker prepares to make delivereries in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty

Online stores will expand

While the likes of Amazon and Alibaba are expected to continue their growth in 2018, including across Africa, the same trend will also positively effect African online properties such as Takealot.com and Jumia.

Start a business

Entrepreneurs at work on a fintech startup. Photo: africanentrepreneurcollective

New regulations will benefit fintech startups

New European Union (EU) regulations that come into play this month are intended to open banking and payments to a range of fintech firms. The second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) makes it possible for consumers to consent to third-party providers accessing their account data, so that these businesses enable faster and more convenient payments. This is good news for African fintech startups looking to go global.

fintech opportunities

South African startups like fintech firm Zoona attracted investment in 2017. Photo: ilovezoona.com

Venture capital investment in SA tech startups on the rise

The value of venture capital investments in South African tech startups increased by 134 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. That means that a total of $63.6 million was invested in SA startups during the course of 2017, and is perhaps a reflection of what 2018 will hold.

Sign up for the AFKInsider newsletter — the most compelling business news you need to know from Africa and the African diaspora, delivered straight to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , ,