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

Friederici, Nicolas and Wahome, Michel and Graham, Mark (2020) Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa : How a Continent Is Escaping Silicon Valley's Long Shadow. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. ISBN 9780262538183

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Abstract

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.