South Africa wants to be a digital economy, but someone has to build it. In recent years, South Africa has tried to build its version of Silicon Valley at the tip of Africa, creating hubs in Cape Town and Johannesburg for startups and tech innovators. But, like Silicon Valley itself and more advanced economies, South Africa has a chronic shortage of developers, the would-be architects of this digital economy.
The shortage of tech talent in Africa is closely linked to the continent’s infrastructure, or lack thereof. As Africa’s most advanced economy, South Africa already has a solid foundation in industries such as financial technology, banking services and industrial-scale manufacturing, so the country should be best placed on the continent to train the next generation of programmers for the digital epoch. Yet, despite being a relatively new industry, South Africa’s tech environment has not escaped the country’s historical handicaps.
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