South Africa’s tech prowess was recognised as a leader on the continent, in the inaugural African Tech Ecosystem report compiled by the Financial Times of London, division fDi Intelligence,
“South Africa stormed to the top of the inaugural FDI Africa Tech Ecosystems of the Future ranking, achieving not only first place overall, but first place for Economic Potential, Start-Up Status and Business Friendliness. South Africa recorded the second-highest number of start-ups behind Nigeria, in addition to receiving the largest number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the software and IT services sector”
“South Africa is home to one of most developed VC networks and the oldest start-up incubator on the continent, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative. The incubator is credited with supporting more than 3000 entrepreneurs in its two-decade history”
We were delighted that the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is acknowledged as a key factor by fDi Intelligence, in contributing to South Africa’s ranking and for its role in incubating start-ups.
Cape Town, too, has been acknowledged as the Tech Capital of Africa and CiTi’s support and incubation of more than 3 000 entrepreneurs over two decades was also recognised by Invest Cape Town and the City of Cape Town as having been instrumental in this achievement.
The recent data reinforces the findings of the earlier Endeavor Insight report, which found that Cape Town is the most productive and impactful tech hub in sub-Saharan Africa. That report also acknowledged CiTi’s role in creating and supporting a vibrant tech ecosystem.
The biggest constraint to both South Africa and Cape Town’s retention of their acknowledged tech leadership roles is the shortage of digital talent. CiTi’s CapaCiTi Digital Skills Accelerator is continuing to scale up to support both Cape Town and SA’s needs in this regard. In the last three years, CapaCiTi has created over 3 500 work opportunities in the digital economy for the country’s youth, making it the most successful initiative of its kind in South Africa.
CapaCiTi is also supporting international software vendor skills needs in South Africa and its recent partnerships with Salesforce and Accenture have already yielded outstanding results. The tailored “Skills to Succeed” programme design saw 97% of the first cohort qualifying as Certified Salesforce App Builders within four months. Robin Fisher, senior vice president, Salesforce Growth Markets, says that: “This initiative provides unemployed young people in Africa with a unique opportunity to leverage the current digital revolution.”
CiTi CEO Ian Merrington said, “we recognise the extent of both the digital skills challenge and the support needed to enable entrepreneurs to be successful in a global digital economy, we are continuing to scale all of our initiatives to leverage our success for the benefit of many more South Africans, and indeed, for the youth of the entire continent. We will continue to identify and seed technology clusters, which can make an impact over the next five years while becoming truly transformative over the next twenty years. Both Injini, now Africa’s leading EdTech accelerator, and BioCiTi, our BioTech incubator and Lab, are examples of successful CiTi interventions.”
Joshin Raghubar, Chairperson of CiTi said, “Our purpose is to build a future-fit inclusive society for Africans through innovation and technology. We also serve this mission better by ensuring we include young leadership energising this future, and we are delighted that CiTi director Alexandria Proctor has also been appointed by President Ramaphosa to the Board of the National Youth Development Agency. Looking to the future, we see deep regional competency in the innovation frontiers of Web3, climate change, BioTech, and EdTech being important to being future-fit and globally relevant. I am delighted that CiTi is being recognised on the global stage by credible data driven organisations such as the Financial Times for its role in designing a better future for the city and for Africans.”
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