The future of South Africa: boosting tech investment

Published: Monday, October 21, 2019

Information Technology (IT)EconomyGovernment Accountancy

South Africa is destined to become the Silicon Valley of Africa.   

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President Cyril Ramaphosa recently opened the Financial Times Africa Summit in London. He led Team South Africa to engage with investors and business leaders with the aim of attracting further investment, both in Africa and in South Africa. The summit’s theme is Africa in Motion and places a special emphasis on youth, entrepreneurs and innovation, among other key topics. 


In terms of innovation, South Africa can compete at the international level. Many tend to think the country is behind in the tech arena, but Osidon CEO Hennie Ferreira disagrees. “South Africa has produced many exceptional tech entrepreneurs, like Mark Shuttleworth and Elon Musk. The entrepreneurial spirit in SA’s tech space remains strong and vibrant,” he said.


Johannesburg and Cape Town are hubs for the tech industry and there are numerous tech companies providing cutting edge products and services. Tech companies such as Axxess, redPanda Software, Wantitall and Parcelninja are leaders in the local tech industry.


Another good example of tech excellence in South Africa is Osidon. Osidon is the world’s first digital online accountant, developed on South African soil. The company is the fastest growing tech accounting service for SMMEs in South Africa, supporting entrepreneurs in their start-ups. "Our unique offering is digital, yet we recruit employees at an incredible rate. This is proof that tech doesn’t translate to job losses,” Ferreira said. The company will expand to the US and UK markets early next year. 


In his address at the Africa Summit, President Ramaphosa said Africa is a continent of entrepreneurs, a critical ingredient for growth. With the support of government in the fields of tech and innovation, the country can create an enabling regulatory environment, provide incentives to tech companies and provide access to digital opportunities for all South Africans. 


The tech sector is heeding the call from the President to ensure job creation, economic growth and innovation. President Ramaphosa said South Africans are not just consumers of tech, they are also inventing, adapting and customising technology for their needs. This is proof of the country’s appetite for tech solutions.


Furthermore, he reiterated that the continent is young and dynamic with vast potential and great promise. Initiatives such as the placement of students from TVET colleges in internships in the economic sector, will ensure youth in this country are able to grow the economy, attract investment and fight the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. “Through alternative and disruptive education pathways, on-the-job training and skills development initiatives, we can ensure the private sector is provided with a consistent stream of both digital and non-digital skills,” Ferreira said.


As the country heads towards the second South Africa Investment Conference in November, one of the key ways to grow our economy, is to increase investment in the tech industry. South Africa is a key player in Africa’s economy and a major emerging economic power. “South Africa has a great competitive advantage in the tech industry. That’s why international companies such as Sage and Xero have chosen South Africa as its gateway to the rest of the continent. We have the opportunity to become a major tech powerhouse,” said Ferreira.


In addition, countries interested in outsourcing their tech services can look to South Africa. With a high quality education system and affordable wages, South Africa is the ideal country for outsourcing tech activities. South Africa has the means to become intermediaries for major superpowers such as China, the US and Europe.



Lali van Zuydam

PR and Marketing Coordinator

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