I’ve asked this question before. Ghanaian technology is rising, but who is telling its story? Thanks to this report by former IBM analyst, Martin Greenberg, we now have a better idea of what’s going on in that ecosystem.
Greenberg’s Ghana tech report features a macro-economic overview of the country, acknowledges the big tech corporates in Ghana, the investment community, talent, co-working spaces and hubs, greenlights a few promising startups, and more. It’s all there!
Interesting facts from the report (augmented in places by some personal context)
- At 112 percent mobile penetration (2013), it appears that there are more phones than people in Ghana.
- MTN is the dominant telco at 46 percent, followed by Vodafone – 21 percent, Airtel – 14 percent, and Tigo – 13 percent.
- Funding sources include the government run Venture Capital Trust Fund, the Ghana Angel Investors Network, Acumen Fund and Stanford SEED. I would add Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology.
- Active incubators – MEST which has been in Ghana since 2008 and Savannah Fund which courts Ghanaian entrepreneurs but invites them to Nairobi for the actual three month programme.
- Co-working spaces – iSpace and Hub Accra.
I have to say, for the amount of tech capacity available to it, Ghana has been amazingly prolific, relative to Kenya, Nigeria and even South Africa, all considered key African tech hubs with bigger markets and more access to capital. Being a great place to do business, far better than Nigeria (number 67 on the global ease of business ranking compared to Nigeria’s 147 out of 185 countries), certainly has a lot to do with that.
Greenberg’s compilation is definitely worth the read. 1MB PDF download here.