Welcome to our first instalment of “A month in tweets”, where we look at the tweets that have catalysed conversations in the last month in the African tech space. These are the tweets that started some of the most important conversations or simply let us know about key milestones of some of the leading players in the ecosystem.
Twitter is indeed a powerful social platform, not only used to let out one’s personal thoughts but increasingly where important hiring and business decisions are made. From sharing news, to customer acquisitions, to meeting investors, and networking with fellow “tech bros” [as they are fondly called], Twitter is the place to be for all stakeholders in the African technology ecosystem. Here are 4 tweets we found interesting in January.
Technology that will impact Africa in the next 5 years
We will go with Fintech.
Africa’s mobile first society means its adoption of mobile money has been rapid, especially as large sections of its population remain unbanked. The pandemic further stressed the importance of financial technology in Africa, and with the enforcement of lockdown measures such as curfews, bank closures and social distancing guidelines, it became increasingly difficult to use cash, giving rise to mobile payments.
Data from AfriCo revealed that 2020 saw 97 venture capital deals in the African fintech sector valued at USD 250 million. 24% of the total venture money raised by fintech companies went into the payments sector. This is no surprise as the fintech sector continues to heat up on the continent.
We still have a long way to go in improving financial inclusion for the unbanked. However, we believe that the pandemic has encouraged African governments to improve key infrastructure that will enable financial inclusion and the tech ecosystem as a whole to thrive. It’s also inspired African innovators to find more creative ways to enable consumers to access financial services and we’re excited to see its continued evolution.
What 54gene’s new genomics lab means for research in Nigeria
Hundreds of medical talent leave Nigeria every year for greener pastures. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) estimates that the country loses at least $1.5 billion every year. Indeed, if the country’s medical sector was better funded and had more investment, there would be a better retention of medical talent, which will in turn allow for more innovation in the sector.
54gene is one of the leading startups on the continent working hard to ensure the inclusion of the African genome in global research. The launch of its new world-class laboratory this month is a first of its kind in the region, bringing advanced molecular genomics research capabilities to Nigeria. The company’s continued growth and expansion should inspire a new generation of clinicians and researchers to develop their talent at home. It’s also super exciting to see African researchers at the forefront of global research.
Meeting an investor on Twitter?
There are really important deals being struck on Twitter, including big time investment decisions, such as SHL VC’s recent decision to invest in Cowrywise. If more startups knew they could strike investment deals via Twitter, more of them would take their social footprint a little more seriously.
Apart from all the background work that goes into the publicity of a startup, startups need to also be present on social media to be able to amplify their voices. It is not enough just to be present, but being a part of important conversations that are relevant to their industry and connecting with their target audience via social platforms is key. Social media gives personality to a brand and allows for an emotional connection with target audiences.
A female focused angel fund? About time
It is a well-known fact that women are under-represented in African tech. The global tech workforce comprises 28.8% women. In 2019, female-led companies received less than 5 percent of the global venture capital. In Africa, only 10% of the West African startups that cumulatively raised $1 million had at least one female co-founder in the past decade.
Eloho Omame (Managing Director, Endeavor Nigeria) and Odunayo Eweniyi (Co-founder & COO, PiggyVest) have created a female-focused angel fund in order to fix this issue, by investing in women in African tech through FirstCheck Africa. In 2021, FirstCheck Africa plans to invest up to $25,000 each, “ridiculously early”, in women in Africa with bold, entrepreneurial ideas.
These tweets are just a few of the many that had us informed, entertained and inspired in the last month. For more tweets on the African tech start up space, follow us at @DiNNAfrica.