Tech incubators, like their medical second cousins exist to shield startups for the harsh realities of business. They exist to help an idea transit from texts on a deck to a validated venture that investors can bet on. In some other cases, ventures that can turn profit and conveniently stand on their own two feet.

In Africa, there are exactly 117 incubation spaces according to the most recent World Bank data [PDF]. This is about 30% growth since 2014 when there were 90 of them across the continent.

South Africa has the highest number of incubation spaces at 24, Nigeria and Kenya hold the second place for countries with highest number of incubation spaces at 11 each and countries like Mali, The Gambia, Cameroon, Liberia, Tunisia, Congo, Togo and Zambia have only one each. In about a dozen countries including Lesotho and Central African Republic, there are no incubation spaces.

african incubators

Source: World Bank, September 2015.


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