South Africa has the most impressive pool of technology talent, while Nigeria presents the biggest market potential, according to Kenyan startup Upande.
HumanIPO reported yesterday on Upande, which launched in 2009 in the geographical information systems (GIS) and webmapping application sector.
Upande founder Mark de Blois said that having provided services for clients ranging from government, the United Nations (UN), the World Bank and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to the private sector across a variety of countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Moldova, he has been most impressed by the talent in South Africa.
De Blois said he ranks Kenya as the second most impressive talent pool on the continent, and also rates it highly as a technology hub.
“For sure Kenya is an African technology hub. Other African countries come to look for partners in Kenya,” said de Blois.
“But other African countries are not sitting still either and sometimes have more favourable conditions for startups. Kenya has to be aware not to get overtaken by rapid developments from within the continent.”
In this vein, a particularly large client from Nigeria found Upande in Kenya as the client had turned to Kenya for high-calibre partners.
“We are currently doing a big public-private partner project in Nigeria for one of the state governments. Our client came to Kenya to look for a strong technology partner,” said de Blois.
This client has prompted de Blois to conclude that Nigeria has the most potential in terms of uptake of Upande’s services.
“There is huge potential there, the uptake has been better than any other African country.”