Start-ups can transform Africa!

Date: 17 March 2017

Austin, Texas is the Silicon hills of America! This is due to the vibrant start-up ecosystem as well as the fact that Mount Bonnel is in Austin. By the way, Next time you are in Austin try to climb the stairs of Mount Bonnel and you will experience a breathtaking view of the Austin Skyline. There are good lessons to be taken by any city or government from the Austin start up model. It is as simple as providing the right ecosystem and support mechanisms and the start-up will love your city. This will come with jobs, more incomes as well as more tax collections.

 This is the case in Austin and the City of Austin, The University of Austin at Texas and the private sector have made this possible. In the 80’s Austin was a ghost city but now it is voted as one of the best cities in USA by Forbes magazine. The lesson is that collaboration and deliberate strategies can definitely move a city or a country to economic development level that are unprecedented. The start-ups can transform Africa to a developed continent in the next 30 years! This only required are the parties- Government, Private sector and Academia to work together to implement 

mechanisms that will help invest ability of businesses, enabling environment which will be good for start- ups and collaboration by the entrepreneurs themselves with the aim of sustainable development in Africa. Some of the necessary conditions will include having great co-working space, encouragement of entrepreneurship culture at a very early stage in life for the citizens; investment platforms such as angel networks and seed fund providers, meet-ups mainly to share experiences and more so on failures and lessons from such failures, collaborating incubators and accelerators mechanisms as well as Government-start-up dialogues. All these are initiatives that will take the continent to the next level and hence help in building and growing Africa.

In the last 30 years Austin has been hosting the South by South West(SXSW). SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals and the start up economy of Austin is at the center stage. This not only puts the city in the map but has a great economic effect. For instance, in 2016, the economic impact of the conference netted a total economic benefit of $325.3 million.