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  • Writer's pictureKanto Ranaivosoa

The AfroTech Queens: The Future of Tech is Female and Africa is Leading the Way

Africa is breaking codes!

As a supposedly male-dominated sector, the tech industry is actually proving to be a good playground for new female entrepreneurs. Indeed, those leaders have vividly demonstrated that challenges related to gender and above all to the stereotype that the empire is impenetrable to certain profiles can be overcome, and with great achievement.

3.2% of African fintech companies are founded solely by women, literally doubling the global average of 1.6%.

Picture from UNECA

The surge of technological entrepreneurship in Africa is a relatively recent trend. This backdrop has enabled individuals, regardless of their gender, to enter the market simultaneously, thus fostering a fairly equitable environment. Nevertheless, the situation is far from straightforward. While African women are establishing a prominent presence in the tech scene, factors beyond timing contribute significantly to this surprising, but ultimately not so astonishing, figure.

Why does Africa show a higher number of female tech founders compared to other regions? Let's explore the elements contributing to their success!

Mindset n°1: Necessity is the Mother of Invention

As explored in previous articles, women in Africa are naturally inclined towards entrepreneurial pursuits, driven by both cultural factors and a deep-seated resilience that compels them to brave societal norms and expectations. They are often faced with challenges, such as lack of education and limited access to resources, but those surely force them to be resourceful and creative, which are essential qualities for entrepreneurs. 26% of African women are engaged in entrepreneurship, compared to a global average of 11% and just 5.7% in the EU.

This contrast serves as a powerful testament to the resilience of these women, for whom adversity serves as a springboard for success!

Mindset n°2: I Am Because We Are

Africa is a tapestry of traditions that shape daily life and sometimes even the professional world. Among them, the philosophy of Ubuntu perfectly emphasizes the interdependence of individual well-being with that of the community. This Bantu notion translated into "humanity" and associated with many proverbs like "A person is a person through other persons" often prevails in the management of local businesses. Whether it's through education, healthcare or the fight for equality, female fintech is as close to the community as possible. In fact, women-led businesses are conducted as an integral part of it and know how to leverage results to serve others.

Economically empowering women also leads to better outcomes for society, as they typically invest 90% of their earnings back into families and communities. Moreover, their focus in not solely on profits as they view success as a collective endeavor built on strong interpersonal relationships.

Real life case study: Matina Razafimahefa empowers Africa through digital innovation

Born in Côte d'Ivoire and raised in Madagascar, Matina has witnessed firsthand the economic challenges facing Africa. Confronted with the closure of her mother's computer school following the 2008 crisis, her entrepreneurial spirit was ignited with the desire to re launch a similar project.

While still a student, she initiated a crowdfunding campaign from which Sayna was born. Quickly after, her mother joined forces to form a formidable female duo! The company is based in Antananarivo and is the first African Edtech and crowdsourcing platform offering services to a various range of students.

Here is the context: in 2023, over 60% of Africa's population was under 25, with nearly 20% of young people unemployed although these statistics vary considerably from one country to another and don't account for precarious jobs or underemployment in the informal sector. This situation is compounded by a lack of qualifications tailored to the needs of the job market. In response to that, Sayna's innovative system allows participants to train through online courses and earn money simultaneously by completing paid micro-tasks, a significant asset in the face of inadequate work opportunities.

As of today, the project is expanding to new countries in North and West Africa, and its disruptive model has already enabled many to professionalize and integrate into the digital economy. Matina aims to inspire women looking to venture into tech and to demonstrate that development is possible even in Africa, all while supporting young talents to take advantage of the rapidly developing fourth industrial revolution on the continent!

So let's recap: By harnessing resourcefulness, a deep sense of community, and a commitment to shared prosperity, African women are not simply entering the tech industry, they're transforming it from within. Their ventures address local needs, empower others, and pave the way for a future where tech is a tool for collective advancement. It is more than a new chapter in African innovation – it's a blueprint for inclusive progress on the global stage!

Do you know other inspiring stories of women in tech who are using their skills to uplift their communities?

Share them below!

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