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Top 10 African Country With The Most Tech Startups

Africa’s tech startup scene is witnessing monumental growth, a testament to the continent’s burgeoning position on the global technology map.

With a staggering investment of $1.6 billion in 2021, a 113% increase from the previous year, and the rise of fintech startups, the landscape is ripe with opportunity.

As tech in Africa scales new heights, countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya emerge as frontrunners, each fostering unique ecosystems supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

The upward spike in venture capital is indicative of a wider pattern of growth, coworking spaces, and internet penetration, laying a solid foundation for Africa’s digital future.

Exploring the frontier of innovation, this article delves into the top 10 African countries with the most tech startups. You’ll uncover insights into the dynamic regions leading the charge, from Lagos’s fintech revolution to Nairobi’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. 

We will highlight the key players and their contributions to the continent’s tech ascendancy and the challenges and triumphs faced by these pioneer markets. 

By weaving through the intricate tapestry of Africa’s tech landscape, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the forces propelling these countries to the forefront of global innovation.

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Nigeria stands as a beacon of technological innovation in Africa, boasting a vibrant startup ecosystem that is both diverse and dynamic. As the continent’s leader in tech startups, Nigeria boasts a diverse terrain, showcasing a rich blend of geographical features of sectors and a concentration of activity in its bustling metropolis, Lagos.

Key Statistics and Highlights

  1. Startup Ecosystem: With 124 funded tech startups, Nigeria houses nearly a third of Africa’s total, establishing it as the most advanced startup ecosystem on the continent.
  2. Investment Trends: Despite a 59% decline in Funding from the previous year, Nigerian startups still raised a substantial $399,909,000 in 2023. This shift reflects a more balanced investment across various sectors, including e-commerce, transport, and e-health.
  3. Leading Sectors: The fintech, e-commerce and retail tech, e-health, and tech sectors are particularly vibrant, drawing significant attention from local and international investors.
  4. Global and Regional Rankings: Nigeria is ranked 64th globally in the Startup Ecosystem Index and is the top country in Western Africa.
  5. Employment and Growth: The tech sector has employed approximately 19,344 individuals through 481 operational tech startups.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Challenges: Startups in Nigeria face hurdles such as financing shortages, low purchasing power, and a geographical disconnect between Lagos and other cities.
  • Opportunities: Introducing services like Starlink’s satellite broadband in 2023 has improved internet connectivity, potentially accelerating digital growth.

Notable Startups and Cities

  • Top Startups: Innovators like TeamApt, Paystack, and Carbon spearhead the fintech revolution.
  • Startup Hubs: Beyond Lagos, cities such as Abuja, Ibadan, Enugu, and Port Harcourt are emerging as significant centres for tech innovation.

This detailed exploration into Nigeria’s tech startup scene underscores its pivotal role in shaping Africa’s technological landscape, offering a blend of challenges and vast opportunities for growth and innovation.


Overview and Investment Highlights

Kenya, a prominent player in Africa’s tech startup scene, has shown remarkable growth and innovation. In 2023, 62 Kenyan startups successfully raised a total of US$673,781,000, representing 28% of the total Funding in Africa. This Funding underscores Kenya’s leadership in equity and debt financing within the continent, with significant contributions from sectors like fintech and cleantech.

Sector Breakdown and Key Deals

  • Fintech: Dominating the funding landscape, 16 fintech ventures raised substantial amounts, though the most significant funding chunks went to other sectors.
  • Cleantech: With SunKing’s $130 million securitization deal and Wetility’s $48 million round, cleantech secured the most substantial part of the funding pie.
  • Other Sectors: Agri-tech, e-commerce, and e-health also saw significant investments, showcasing a diversified innovation environment.

Growth and Development Indicators

  • Employment: On average, each funded startup provides jobs to 154 individuals, highlighting the sector’s role in job creation.
  • Female Leadership: With 26 startups having at least one female co-founder and 14 led by a female CEO, gender diversity is notably high in Kenya’s tech scene.
  • Accelerator Participation: Nearly 43.5% of the startups have benefited from accelerator programs, which indicates a robust support network for emerging businesses.

Government Support and International Investment

2023 was a landmark year for government and international backing:

  • KENIA: The Kenya National Innovation Agency played a pivotal role, enhancing government support for startups by 30%.
  • International Collaborations: Significant investments included a $2 million commitment from Catalyst Fund for climate resilience projects and substantial green finance initiatives from local and international entities.

Nairobi: A Tech Hub

Almost all of Kenya’s tech startups are based in Nairobi, which hosts significant innovation centres from global giants like Google, Microsoft, and Visa. This concentration in Nairobi highlights the city’s strategic importance and capability to attract substantial international investments in technology.

South Africa

Overview and Investment Highlights

In 2023, South Africa demonstrated resilience and growth within its tech startup ecosystem. Despite a challenging global economic climate, 55 startups raised a formidable US$444,600,000. This achievement underscores South Africa’s dominance in Southern Africa, capturing over 97% of the region’s Funding.

Key Sectors and Employment Impact

South Africa’s diverse startup ecosystem spans several dynamic sectors:

  • Fintech: Commands a 40% share with significant venture capital interest.
  • Edtech, Agritech, Foodtech, and Digital Health: These sectors employ over 11,000 individuals, highlighting the ecosystem’s role in job creation.

Investment Trends and Challenges

2023 was a landmark year, albeit with a funding lull that tested the industry’s durability:

  • Total Funding: Achieved the highest equity funding at $548M despite a year-over-year decrease of 34%.
  • Acquisitions: 56 acquisitions were witnessed, showing a decrease from the previous year’s 89, but solid market activity was maintained.

Leading Investors and International Influence

  • Local Leaders: LaunchLab and Knife Capital are pivotal in driving investments.
  • International Presence: Notable global players like Facebook, MTN, and PayPal continue to invest, ensuring a steady influx of international capital.

This section of South Africa’s tech startup landscape highlights a robust environment ripe for continued growth and innovation, driven by substantial Funding and a diverse sector presence.


Overview of Egypt’s Tech Ecosystem

Egypt’s tech landscape has demonstrated remarkable growth, with Cairo emerging as a powerhouse in the MENA region. The city’s tech ecosystem ranks impressively at #13 globally among emerging ecosystems, reflecting a rapid ascent driven by a tech-savvy youth population and innovative startups.

Key Statistics and Growth

  • Ecosystem Value: As of 2022, Egypt’s tech ecosystem boasted a value of $8.3 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 102.22% from 2018.
  • Rankings: Cairo stands #2 in MENA for Affordable Talent and #3 for Talent & Experience, and Funding, indicating a well-rounded and supportive startup environment.

Sector Highlights and Achievements

  • Top Industries: In 2023, Egypt’s leading startup sectors included Energy & Environment, Transportation, and food, with global rankings of #42, #42, and #49, respectively.
  • First Unicorn: 2023 saw Egypt celebrate its first unicorn, MNT-Halan, underscoring the potential within the Egyptian market.

Investment and Support Structures

  • Total Investments: In 2022, Egyptian FinTech investments reached a notable $796.5 million, with a vibrant ecosystem comprising 177 startups across 14 innovative FinTech sub-sectors.
  • Banking Sector Impact: The banking industry has been pivotal, contributing an equivalent of $290 million in 2022 to support the growth of FinTech and related startups.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite facing challenges such as a significant drop in equity deal count by 58% in 2023, Egypt’s tech ecosystem continues to thrive, supported by robust infrastructure and government initiatives. The country’s large market and population base of over 110 million provide a fertile ground for startups aiming for regional and global expansion.


Overview and Government Initiatives

Ghana’s tech startup ecosystem is burgeoning, supported significantly by the “Ghana Digital Agenda.” This initiative focuses on enhancing digital literacy, expanding infrastructure, and fostering innovation, positioning Ghana as the 11th leading African country in tech startups.

In 2023, the ecosystem saw over 100 active tech startups, with a total funding of $50 million, primarily in fintech, agritech, and healthtech sectors.

Key Startups and Funding Insights

Notable startups like Farmable, DreamOval, and mPharma are making substantial impacts. Farmable focuses on providing farmers with financing, equipment, and training. DreamOval enhances financial transactions with its digital payment solutions, while mPharma aims to make medicines more accessible and affordable.

Despite declining total investment from $209 million in 2022 to $65 million in 2023, the ecosystem hosted significant deals, including two $10 million+ investments in agritech firms Koa and Degas.

Challenges and Opportunities

Ghanaian tech startups need more funding access, skills shortages, and infrastructural limits. However, opportunities abound in sectors like renewable energy, e-commerce, and edtech, spurred by increased digital solution demands post-COVID-19.

The Ghana Tech Summit 2023 and other tech-related events highlight active engagement within the ecosystem, aiming to connect stakeholders and foster growth.

Investor Landscape

The investment scene in 2023 was vibrant, with active participation from entities such as Techstars, KFW DEG, and MEST Africa.

These investors are crucial in navigating the financial landscape, which saw a significant portion of the year’s Funding concentrated in the first and last quarters. Despite the challenges, a growing number of female CEOs, securing 25% of the total financing, marks a progressive step towards diversity and inclusion within the Ghanaian tech space.


Overview of Senegal’s Tech Ecosystem

Ranked 82nd globally, Senegal is making significant strides in the tech startup scene, positioned as the 4th in Western Africa.

The country’s robust institutions and favourable business climate are critical attractions for entrepreneurs and investors. Central to its logistical advantages is Dakar’s large seaport, which offers practical access to European and North American markets, enhancing the export potential of tech innovations.

Government and International Support

Through initiatives like DER/FJ and the Digital Senegal 2025 strategy, the Senegalese government actively supports entrepreneurship among youth and women and strengthens the overall legal framework for business operations. Additionally, international bodies such as the African Development Bank, Enpact, and GIZ contribute significantly by empowering local entrepreneurs through training, microfinance, and incubation programs.

Investment and Innovation Highlights

Senegal’s startup ecosystem benefits from private and public sector investments in skill development and innovation. Notably, the fintech sector shines with Wave, Senegal’s first unicorn startup, achieving a valuation of over US$1 billion. This milestone highlights the potential within Senegal’s fintech space and sets a precedent for future tech ventures in the country.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the startup ecosystem in Senegal is burgeoning, one of the hurdles it encounters is the restricted accessibility to venture capital and market size constraints. However, the continuous support from both governmental and international institutions provides a fertile ground for conquering these hindrances and utilizing the complete capability of Senegal’s tech capabilities.


Ethiopia’s tech startup scene has made notable strides, climbing two spots in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023 to rank 103rd worldwide. Home to 70 startups, the country boasts a diverse range of industries with significant growth in specific sectors.

Key Industries and Top Startups

  • Foodtech: With eight startups, Ethiopia ranks 50th globally. Notable companies include EthioChicken and Komari, which significantly impact the Foodtech and Agtech sectors.
  • Fintech: The country hosts 11 Fintech startups, ranking 78th worldwide. EthSwitch and ArifPay are leading in financial services and payments.
  • Software & Data: This sector includes 20 startups, with Ethiopia ranked 91st globally.

Demographics and Internet Usage

Ethiopia’s population reached 124.9 million in 2023, a 2.6% increase from the previous year. The urban population accounts for 22.9%, while the majority, 77.1%, reside in rural areas. Internet penetration is 16.7%, with 20.86 million users, reflecting a modest increase from the previous year.

Connectivity and Social Media Engagement

  • Internet Speeds: The median mobile internet connection speed is 19.10 Mbps, and the fixed internet connection speed is 5.19 Mbps.
  • Social Media: There are 6.40 million social media users, about 5.1% of the total population. Facebook remains the most popular platform, with 6 million users.

This overview of Ethiopia’s tech ecosystem highlights its growing influence and the opportunities for innovation and growth within the region.


Overview of Senegal’s Tech Ecosystem

Senegal, ranking 82nd worldwide, is the 4th top country in Western Africa for tech startups. The nation’s robust institutions and favourable business climate develop an appealing ecosystem for both aspiring entrepreneurs and potential investors. Dakar, home to Senegal’s largest seaport, offers strategic access to European and North American markets, enhancing the export potential of local innovations.

Government and International Support

Significant support from the Senegalese government and international institutions bolsters the tech ecosystem. Initiatives like DER/FJ and the Digital Senegal 2025 strategy focus on empowering youth and women in entrepreneurship and improving the legal framework for businesses. Furthermore, organizations such as the African Development Bank, Enpact, and GIZ play pivotal roles in providing microfinance and training, strengthening the startup environment.

Investment and Innovation Highlights

Senegal’s commitment to fostering innovation is evident through substantial investments in skills development and Funding for accelerators and incubators.

The fintech sector, in particular, has seen remarkable achievements, with Wave becoming the country’s first unicorn startup, valued at over US$1 billion. This milestone underscores the potential within Senegal’s fintech space and sets a precedent for future tech ventures in the region.


Tunisia is emerging as a promising hub for tech startups in Northern Africa despite its ecosystem being in the early stages of development.

In 2023, it ranked 91st in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index, reflecting a slight decline but still showing significant potential due to increased total startup funding in recent years.

Key Initiatives and Government Support

The Tunisian government has been proactive in fostering a conducive environment for startups. The Startup Act passed by Startup Tunisia in 2018 has been a cornerstone in boosting innovation, offering startups the ‘Startup Label’, which provides benefits such as exemption from capital gain tax for up to eight years. This initiative has been pivotal in attracting new ventures into the ecosystem.

International and Financial Support Structures

Support from international organizations like the World Bank and Smart Capital has been instrumental. The World Bank’s Innovative Startups and SME Project focuses on empowering women and developing SMEs. At the same time, the Anava Fund of Funds aims to invest in over 13 venture capital funds that support seed and early-stage startups.

Leading Industries and Notable Startups

Tunisia’s top industries include Software & Data, Edtech, and Ecommerce & Retail. Notable startups such as Enda Tamweel, Expensya, and GoMyCode are making significant impacts. In particular, software and data startups like Expensya, Enova Robotics, and Millesima Technologies are leading the way in innovation.

Growth in the Capital

Tunis, the capital, has improved its position significantly in the Global Ecosystem Index, hosting 66 startups primarily in Fintech, Edtech, and E-commerce & Retail. Top startups, including Enda Tamweel, Expensya, and GoMyCode, exemplify this growth, which drives the city’s startup landscape forward.

This detailed exploration into Tunisia’s tech startup scene highlights its growing role in shaping the technological landscape of Northern Africa, supported by robust initiatives and a dynamic array of emerging companies.


Throughout this exploration, we’ve traversed key African countries’ vibrant and dynamic tech startup landscapes, each marking its unique imprint on the continent’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem. 

From Nigeria’s fintech revolutions, Kenya’s groundbreaking investments, Senegal’s unicorn achievements, and Tunisia’s developmental strides, we’ve examined the tapestry of ecosystems that contribute to Africa’s digital future. 

The collective insights reveal a continent on the precipice of technological transformation, characterized by strategic growth, diverse innovation, and a promising influx of local and international investments.

As Africa continues to carve its path towards becoming a global hub of technological innovation, the significance of these developments cannot be overstated.

The surge in tech startups across the continent not only heralds a new era of economic diversification but also underscores the critical role of digital solutions in addressing fundamental societal challenges.

With each country fostering unique strengths and opportunities, the journey of Africa’s tech startups invites ongoing engagement and support.

For those looking to delve deeper into the frontier of innovation, exploring the top 10 African countries with the most tech startups offers invaluable insights into the heart of the continent’s tech ascendancy.


What are the leading African countries in startup development?

Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt collectively host 60% of the continent’s startups, with Egypt experiencing a rapid rise, quadrupling its startup count in three years. The French-speaking part of Africa is also making its mark, with 7 out of the top 20 countries, including Senegal, which is prominent in 4th place with eight startups.

Which are the top 10 most developed countries in Africa?

The top 10 most developed countries in Africa, judged by their Human Development Index (HDI) and passport access, include Seychelles, which leads with an HDI of 0.802, followed by Mauritius, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, and Botswana.

Which African country is at the forefront of technology?

As of November 21, 2023, Morocco has been recognized as Africa’s most technologically advanced country. According to a report from Monkey Insider, it ranks at the top of a list of 15 countries, surpassing other notable nations such as South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya.

Which African country is recognized as the most innovative?

According to the Global Innovation Index, Mauritius has been acknowledged as the most innovative country in Africa. It also boasts the most favourable business environment on the continent, as reported by the World Bank’s “Doing Business” report, as highlighted in an article by Forbes Africa in its January 2024 edition.

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