In 2010 I secured a position in the highly competitive debt restructuring team within PwC. In 2012 I qualified as a chartered accountant and was on my way to a great career with a great company.
Stephen Convey’s book, 7 habits of highly effective people, teaches you to think with the end in mind. I had laid the foundations for a stable future, with the end in mind, I decided that I wanted explore and self discover things of interest to me. Inspired by my Good friend Miki, I decided to leave a great regular paid job for a period of 15 months! I wanted to travel the world and explore the exciting realm of technology and startups.
In January 2013 I left PwC and joined a tech-startup called Bukit. During that time I was exposed to a new world, full of technology innovation. My journey started in London in Old Street, which has been dubbed ‘Silicon Roundabout’. I then made my way across the Atlantic to the US, to cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Time was spent in the US pitching to investors and meeting the leading tech companies in the world i.e. Google, Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox to name a few.
The experience revealed many new opportunities and it became clear to see what direction the world was moving towards, and it revolved around technology.
Innovation in technology has enabled the world to be connected like never before, and it has changed the face and the pace of business. The question which came to mind at that time was “What is happening in sub-Saharan Africa?”
It is evident that some African countries have places with no running water, but you can use a mobile phone, which has full coverage. Countries in Africa are behind the rest of the world in many ways, but advancement in technology provides the opportunity for countries to leap frog into the future. Countries in Africa do not need land line telephone infrastructure like the West, advancement in mobile technology and affordability of mobile phones means they can skip it.
Countries like Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana have rapidly growing economies, a growing middle class and they have invested heavily in technology over the past few years. But when you ask random Brits to describe Africa in 3 words, what are they likely to say? Africa is starvation, hunger and poverty… When I discuss business opportunities within the continent, what are the first things to enter someone’s mind? Africa has oil, agriculture and precious minerals… what about technology and innovation? On the 17 May 2013 that question slapped me in my face, and I decided I was going to…
To be continued…
Please check out “Inside DEMO Africa”, a mini-documentary produced by serial tech entrepreneur Jon Gosier which covers a rarely seen part of the tech world, the startup ecosystem of Africa.