Via its annual Global Startup Ecosystem Index, StartupBlink recently ranked Lagos 122 out of 1,000 cities in the world. This rank is based on the ability of the city to create an environment that promotes the development of startups and digital businesses.
Lagos isn’t alone in fostering a vibrant startup culture. In nations like Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa, African startups are working hard to make an impact on the global tech industry.
Some of the African startups that have been included in the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers 2021 program are: 54gene, mPharma, Cambridge Industries, FlexFinTx, Kuda, Moringa School and Sokowatch.
Here is a little more info on some of these bright, new companies:
54gene (Lagos, Nigeria/Washington, DC)
54gene’s CEO is a 35-year-old Nigerian doctor, Abasi Ene-Obong. His company specializes in sequencing the African genome. Last year, it captured the world’s attention when it played a crucial role in the opening of Covid-19 laboratories in Nigeria. The main goal of 54gene is to mine genomic data and rapidly develop treatments tailored to African genetics.
mPharma (Accra, Ghana)
Another company that has supported governments during the Covid-19 pandemic is mPharma. This startup was co-founded by Gregory Rockson in 2013 and currently operates in 8 countries. It has helped to provide laboratories in Ghana and Nigeria with molecular diagnostic equipment to test for Covid-19. The main task of mPharma is to manage the stock of prescription drugs for pharmacies and their suppliers.
Cambridge Industries (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
Cambridge Industries is a startup company led by Samuel Alemayehu. It is known to be at the forefront of technological innovation in a wide range of fields such as insect farming, waste-to-energy power plants and recycling.
The company has partnered with China National Electrical Engineering Company to build Ethiopia’s first waste-to-energy plant. The waste-to-energy plant is equipped with magnets to capture metals for recycling, which helps prevent the formation of toxic liquids released by landfills, and also converts the ash into bricks for use in construction.
FlexFinTx (Harare, Zimbabwe)
FlexFinTx co-founder Victor Mapunga has provided a way to create and store the digital identities of 400 million Africans who lack formal forms of identification. Additionally, the information is accessible without the internet, so it could be accessed in rural areas.
The company was founded in 2018 and has been a member of the Decentralized Identity Foundation since February 2020, FlexFinTx is helping to develop decentralized identity standards alongside ‘big tech’ companies like Microsoft and IBM.