Silicon Valley, Here's Why You Should Invest in South Africa


Recently, I posted about how the first-ever uncapped Internet deal in South Africa would pave the way for Silicon Valley startups to invest in this country's lucrative and emerging technological market. Today, I'm going to tell you why they should invest in South African technology, and why South Africa perhaps needs to start the trend here, on African soil, by creating our own "Silicon Valley".

South Africa is currently leading the African continent into the Internet age, with the new Seacom cable connecting the country (and subsequently, the continent) to Asia and Europe. It's ultra-high speed Internet, and as time goes on, we predict prices to come down drastically.

Couple that with the success in our own "social media" technology (MXit, anyone?) and we can easily say that this country is on the road to developing our tech industry.

South Africa can be considered the "gateway" into the African continent, a market that many Silicon Valley startups have expressed interest in expanding into — the large marketshare to be gained, coupled with the "ethical goodness" that would spin-off from their ventures is sure to build brand image, at the least.

By investing in the emerging technological sector in this country, these startups will inevitably gain a foothold into other African countries, as they beta-test their products in an already tech-savvy environment such as South Africa, at the same time learning more about how to do business in a foreign land such as this.

I strongly believe that the time for only the major tech companies that started in and around Silicon Valley (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) to permeate international markets successfully, is slowly coming to a close, as there certainly is opportunity for the smaller Web 2.0 startups to start branching out into newer markets, learning more about world business through their interactions with foreign investments, and ultimately growing the world economy. At the same time, they will be given more room to innovate, something that I feel is sorely needed in the dense cloud of startups that have suddenly sprung into existance in America.

Africa presents the opportunity for these technological startups to explore the fields of clean energy, cost-efficient communications and social media, fields that are starting to define what Silicon Valley does today. It's no longer only about the microchip: it's about expanding technology to bring the world closer.

Silicon Valley, the time to invest in South Africa is now. And with the FIFA World Cup just around the corner, the timing couldn't be better.


Anonymous said...

what a positive viewpoint; South Africa needs more young people of your calibre looking for the wondeful things this country can offer, rather than wanting to run towards so-called 'greener pastures". Well done and keep on highlighting the many opportunities in this country!

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