The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: A Tale of Three Ecosystem Reports

Disrupt Africa in a new report “The High Tech Health: Exploring the E-health Startup Ecosystem Report 2020” presents good news in the E-health sector. According to the report, the number of startups active in the health-tech space on the continent has grown by 56.5% over the last three years, with 180 ventures currently in operation.

This, however, does not represent the reality of other sectors in African tech ecosystems.

According to StartupBlink’s 2020 report on global ecosystems, Africa ecosystems occupy the bottom half of the ranking with South Africa at 52, Kenya at ten places from last year’s ratings to 62 and Rwanda displacing Nigeria as Africa’s third-best startup ecosystem at number 65. For the city startup ecosystem rankings, no African cities were ranked in the top 100.

One of the ugly impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as documented by the recent 2020 Global Startup Ecosystem Report by Startup Genome, is that about 56% of African startups are in danger of collapsing. According to the report, these startups have less than 3 months of operating capital left.

In the spirit of counting our losses and wins, taking lessons and planning for the future, African ecosystems are in reflection season, yet we must act swiftly and sustainably to turn the tides. We must look inwards for solutions by building more effective innovation systems and exploring the continent’s innate ability to solve its own challenges. 

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