- Out of the 80 CEOs surveyed, 54 per cent of them cited general investment in start-ups as the most promising path.
- This is compared to the 32 per cent who believe Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is required to advance technological development.
Adoption of smart AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT, blockchain and open-source data are among top technology trends most likely to impact Africa’s businesses in this decade, a new survey report now says.
The survey conducted among business leaders across the continent by the pan-African re-insurer, Continental Re, says the adoption and development of tomorrow’s technologies offers the continent the chance to reduce its reliance on aid for development.
“This would make the continent become a strategic partner to the rest of the world,” the firm says.
It adds that a more rapid expansion of the continent’s homegrown technology sector could initiate a gradual change towards the continent playing a more active role on the world stage.
Out of the 80 CEOs surveyed, 54 per cent of them cited general investment in start-ups as the most promising path compared to 32 per cent who believe Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is required to advance technological development.
According to Continental Re's managing director, Lawrence Nazare, Covid-19 demonstrated that Africa couldn’t rely fully on the global supply chain for growth and development; therefore, it is essential to bank on our own investments.
“Collaboration amongst the 54 countries making up the continent is another growth driver for the technology sector,” Nazare said.
In the survey, Kenya emerged as the tech hub of the East African region, focusing predominantly on the adaptation of technology, less so on the development.
The CEOS highlighted Kenya as the country most likely to gain from the expanding role of technology.
This mirrors the recent Oxford Insights Government AI readiness index report for 2022, which ranked Kenya fifth in Africa for its readiness to adopt Artificial Intelligence in delivery of public services.
It was ranked behind Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco.
The index also ranked the country 90th globally, with a score of 40.36 per cent.
Insurance sector players were on the forefront rooting for the adoption of AI in business operations; with over 38 per cent of the respondents from the sector saying technology will pose a great opportunity for their businesses over the next five years.
Almost a third of the CEOs from Africa’s leading insurers noted their plan to invest between three to five per cent of their revenue in anything from smart AI chatbots to robotics and clean tech.
This could amount to over $1 billion (Sh135.6 billion) in investment.
“The insurance industry, like most other industries, is currently undergoing rapid changes where technological innovation can lead to greater customer-centricity and agility," Nazare said.
He however added that the inherent power of both technology and insurance to transform anything from business models, communities, to whole countries and regions of the world, remains valid even today when we are faced with constant disruption.
The survey was conducted amongst 80 CEOs attending Continental Reinsurance’s eighth annual CEO Summit in the country last month.