Africa is on course to add $180 billion or 5.2% of aggregate GDP by 2025 thanks to the rapid growth of its internet economy, says a report from the World Bank’s IFC and Google. In 2012, the continent’s internet economy (iGDP) was estimated at just $30 billion, or 1.1% of its GDP.
This year iGDP will contribute $115 billion, or 4.5% of a $2.554 trillion GDP, says Accenture. In the US the internet economy contributed around 9% of GDP in 2018.
Key to growing an internet economy—which includes everything from banks and fintechs to agritech, e-health, and venture capital—will be growing the developer talent that builds the products and engines on which it run. Last year, the French-born chief executive of Jumia, the pan-African e-commerce company, sparked outrage in African tech circles when he suggested there weren’t enough developers based in Africa to service his company’s needs.