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Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa: How a Continent Is Escaping Silicon Valley's Long Shadow

by Nicolas Friederici, Michel Wahome and Mark Graham

  • Paperback
    $100.20
PUBLISHED: 28th July 2020
ISBN: 9780262538183
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  • Paperback
    $100.20
PUBLISHED: 28th July 2020
ISBN: 9780262538183

Publisher Description

The hope and hype about African digital entrepreneurship, contrasted with the reality on the ground in local ecosystems. In recent years, Africa has seen a digital entrepreneurship boom, with hundreds of millions of dollars poured into tech cities, entrepreneurship trainings, coworking spaces, innovation prizes, and investment funds. Politicians and technologists have offered Silicon Valley-influenced narratives of boundless opportunity and exponential growth, in which internet-enabled entrepreneurship allows Africa to "leapfrog" developmental stages to take a leading role in the digital revolution. This book contrasts these aspirations with empirical research about what is actually happening on the ground. The authors find that although the digital revolution has empowered local entrepreneurs, it does not untether local economies from the continent's structural legacies. Drawing on a five-year research project, the authors show how entrepreneurs creatively and productively adapt digital technologies to local markets rather than dreaming of global dominance, achieving sustainable businesses by scaling based on relationships and customizing digital platform business models for African infrastructure challenge. The authors examine African entrepreneurial ecosystems; show that African digital entrepreneurs have begun to form a new professional class, becoming part of a relatively exclusive cultural and economic elite; and discuss the impact of Silicon Valley's mythologies and expectations. Finally, they consider the implications of their findings and offer recommendations to policymakers and others.

Author Biography

Nicolas Friederici is Head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin. Michel Wahome is Responsible Research and Innovation Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. Mark Graham is Professor of Internet Geography at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford the editor (with William H. Dutton) of Society and the Internet- How Networks of Information and Communication Are Changing Our Live s.

Product Details

Author
Nicolas Friederici, Michel Wahome, Mark Graham
Short Title
Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa
Pages
336
Publisher
MIT Press
Language
English
Year
2020
ISBN-10
0262538180
ISBN-13
9780262538183
Format
Paperback
Subtitle
How a Continent Is Escaping Silicon Valley's Long Shadow
Audience
General/Trade
Publication Date
2020-07-28