At the mention of creative innovation, the most likely concept that strikes the mind of a tech enthusiast would most likely be a software solution.
This is nothing far from the truth as most innovative solutions getting the most funded on the African continent are offering Software as a Service (SaaS).
With just some fingertips away from their mobile phones, individuals can access mobile applications of software solutions to solve their everyday needs ranging from finance, health, agriculture, mobility and education.
With the most exciting innovations that SaaS has offered in turning around lives, can we conclude that the hardware ecosystem isn’t worth the attention? Or the Software ecosystem is so much valuable, thus it requires more funding from the government and private investors?
For one thing, some might just conclude that major sectors where SaaS is deployed require their operations on a hardware system.
For instance, in the mobility startup space, where services are deployed to ease movement through ride-hailing in the form of motorbikes, cars, minivans, and trucks. These vehicles are hardware components and without them, the SaaS deployed to ease mobility is pretty much useless.
Go to education, edtech devices are hardware components powering the deployment of disruptive solutions. What about in the agriculture space? Applications of drones and other equipment revolve around hardware.
The startup ecosystem on the African continent has recorded significant growth in creating disruptive solutions, however, there is a layback to the development of its hardware infrastructure.
One can’t underestimate the role of hardware infrastructure in developing an economy. How do we forget how the United States IBM personal computers are everywhere in the world, Germany’s Mercedez Benz, Japan’s electronics or China’s mobile phones?
Africa has made quite some significant progress in developing software solutions such that it has even exported some of it beyond the continent.
However, if the largest driver of an economy is the hardware infrastructure, how well has the continent faired?
Will the African startup ecosystem continues to develop its software service only to be used on hardware infrastructure that isn’t indigenous?
If Africa is to really drive its economy asides from relying on its natural resources, it needs to start developing its propriety technology that can be deployed within and off the continent’s border.
Does this mean that the hardware ecosystem is non-existence in Africa? No!
In the Republic of Benin for instance, AS World Tech led by Richard Odjardo has created an African high tech brand that promotes Africa and its value, proving to the whole world that Africa is not a consumer for life.
AS World Tech is installing assembly units and then fully manufactured units in several African countries. You can imagine not just its social but also economic impact.
“In the global technological universe, where our values and cultures are absent, it gives us our place in the concert of nations. We innovate with technological products that respect Africa, that solve our problems and accompany us in our daily lives”, Richard noted
According to Richard, the vision of AS World Tech is to become the leader of technological products in Africa and be able to train local engineers in order to produce in Africa and create employment, boost the entrepreneurship of young people and prove to Africans that “the African dream” is possible.
While stating its mission, Richard noted that AS world is set to innovate, train, help and create quality employment.
AS World Tech is assembling and producing computers, here on the African continent.
“Reliability, from our products to our team to you, we place a premium on reliability! We must be able to build trust in our relationships and this is achieved through originality and quality assurance of our products and services.”, Richard added
In Nigeria, a team of passionate engineers, educators, entrepreneurs, business managers and investors who believe in the abundant human capital in Africa came together to found Hardware Garage.
Hardware Garage is a private-driven entity where product ideas or prototypes are turned into commercially viable products in Nigeria is also shaping the technology ecosystem around hardware infrastructure as it focuses on local content development and promotion in the country.
Since 2019, the platform has supported a few startups and projects in Nigeria helping them develop a sellable product in the country.
The hardware garage team is driven by the historical successes of local content creation and are turning selling and sellable ideas or products in Nigeria into locally produced goods.
Some of its successful projects include Greenage Technologies, Automatenics, REB project, GEL. Hardware challenge also recently added Obtech and Dream Fix.
Basically, hardware garage has centered its focus on hardware infrastructure in clean energy, e-mobilty, agric technology, power and sound electronics.
With focus on local technologies and human capital development in the hardware industry, hardware garage is creating an Africa with industrial systems solving their immediate market challenges.
Hardware garage vision is to be the connection between hardware product development and market entry in Africa.
The development of Africa’s hardware infrastructure has to start from lending supports to local engineers, entrepreneurs to grow their dream products.
There is also a need for the creation of a fully-funded scheme that will offer professional and technical development programs that will drive this course.
The manufacturing of hardware infrastructure in Africa would not only save Forex, but also providing job opportunities for Africans while developing a strong human capital for the continent’s future.
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