African countries are finding answers to challenges of financing tech industry

An investment expert, Femi Adekunle

An investment expert, Femi Adekunle has said that many African countries have started to find answers to the challenges of financing the tech industry in Africa.

This is just after a remarkable period of investment that saw more than 100 private technology companies reach billion-dollar valuations in the past years in Europe and America.

Speaking with a correspondent of The Renaissance on financial and investment in Lagos on Monday, Adekunle beamed new ideas to the minds of tech investors in Africa.

The expert, who had served at various times as a Vice President mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs Inc and Head of the internal audit at Citizen Bank Boston, as well as a member of the internal audit team at Société Générale in France, carefully highlighted key points before embarking in financial investment that would dominate the world in the coming years through ICT.

He observed that from the outset of 2018, the Nigerian Government, for example, planned to increase Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investment by over $50 billion (about N15.9 trillion).

According to him, currently, investment in the industry, mostly driven by telecoms segment, has reached over $35 billion (about N11.1 trillion).

Adekunle noted that technology was being unwrapped to be the next line of thoughts of investors in every nation’s adventure towards being globally competitive and booking an existence in the ambience of International relevance.

“You may have discerned that the investment in ICT industry, in Nigeria for example, where telecoms segment has become a powerful force, has recently been estimated at over $35 billion.

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“The government, on her own, is targeting to accelerate this figure by additional $15 billion in the next two years,” Adekunle told The Renaissance.

He also expressed the beliefs that different countries would have different financial dispositions toward technological investment.

The tech expert said that before any nation could budget a huge amount of money for technological growth, such country would have done pre-investment in the mechanisms that would guarantee a productive ICT investment.

Among the key things he highlighted was the adequate provision of electric power.

“Adequate provision of electric power supply would spring new technological ideas and it would give the government a clear idea on what to actually invest in.”

He added that such investment “will further create a receiving environment for investment in ICT Infrastructures.

“And beyond Investment in the Infrastructures, there has to be huge investment provision for the maintenance of already budgeted Infrastructures.

“Goldman, for example, spends at least $2.5 billion to $3.2 billion on technology each year, or between seven per cent and nine per cent of revenue.

“And for it to be more efficient with its tech spending.

“About 30 per cent of the annual expense goes to maintenance, which covers things like communications, market-data expenses, and software licensing”.

Speaking about strategic technology investments in Africa, he said there was a need to invest in blockchain technology with the Credit Suisse.

According to him, top investors are always interested in blockchain/distributed ledger technologies, which would go a long in making African nations catch up with their counterparts on the world stage.

Other investments include the symphony, the instant-communications platform, mobile applications, data analysis technologies, telecommunications and of course Artificial Intelligence.

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By our ICT correspondent

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