French-speaking African international locations scale the startup rankings

This text was written by Conrad Onyango, hen, story company

Following shut on the heels of Africa’s third unicorn, Wave, startup hubs in French-speaking African nations are pushing themselves up the worldwide rankings, boosting their profiles and attracting traders.

Competitors in Africa’s startup ecosystem is heating up as French-speaking nations put up a spirited battle for the highest slots in an African startup ecosystem that has up to now been dominated by the “large 4” – South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt.

Morocco and Senegal prime a listing of a few of Africa’s largest movers on a World Startup ecosystems rating – a development that might considerably enhance the visibility of startups in these international locations and supply entry to investor progress funds.

Morocco moved up 16 positions, to 79th slot globally whereas Senegal climbed 13 positions to 92, debuting within the “prime 100 membership” of countries internet hosting startup ecosystems. Senegal’s rating was buoyed by improved the improved rankings of cities, in keeping with the World Startup Ecosystem Index 2022, an index created by StartupBlink.

Mauritius, at 71 is at the moment the highest French-speaking African nation on the listing. The island nation moved up two positions, because of the debut of two of its two cities – Port Louis and Grand Baie – within the prime 1,000 listing of cities.

StartupBlink’s CEO, Eli David, mentioned these larger strikes by international locations exterior the top-ranked international locations on the continent is proof of the emergence of seed ecosystems in these international locations.

“Given the market alternatives and rising startup ecosystems in Francophone international locations, startup funding will certainly move into these international locations within the coming years and we’re already seeing this taking place,” David mentioned.


In 2021, Wave, a Senegal-based cell cash startup, raised the biggest-ever Sequence A spherical of an African startup, pushing its valuation to 1.7 billion US {dollars} and making it Africa’s first Francophone unicorn.

Whereas Senegal nonetheless has a low degree of startup investments, in keeping with the index, Wave’s success seems to have lifted the ecosystem’s attractiveness. The capital Dakar jumped 333 spots to enter the worldwide prime 500 cities.

“Senegal is turning into more and more common for entrepreneurs and traders desirous to do enterprise in West Africa. That is
 as a result of its favorable enterprise local weather and sturdy establishments,” in keeping with the Index. Wave is registered in Dakar.

Morocco’s steady and inexpensive ecosystem has additionally been linked to a rising pool of younger, proficient and tech-savvy entrepreneurs – which has seen Cassablanca rise by 39 spots to 325th place on the cities listing.

“To attest to that, we’ve witnessed in recent times a rise within the variety of Moroccan youth turning into high-quality freelancers, gaining experience from their overseas shoppers,” mentioned the authors of the Index.

An analogous large soar noticed Africa’s prime metropolis on the rating, Lagos, transfer up 41 locations to 81st.

African Tech Ecosystems of the Future 2021/22, printed by fDi intelligence and analysis agency Briter Bridges, have additionally listed Morocco and Senegal because the continent’s next-biggest start-up markets.

However it was not all rise for the francophone nations, as Tunisia (83) – nonetheless within the early phases of growth – slipped by one place and Rwanda (84) dropped by 15 slots to rank tenth in Africa.

Francophone ecosystems now occupy 4 slots in Africa’s “top-ten”, led by Mauritius (fifth) and together with Morocco (sixth), Tunisia (ninth) Rwanda (tenth). South Africa (49) holds the highest spot within the continent adopted by Nigeria (61), Kenya (62) and Egypt (65) in second, third and fourth positions respectively, in keeping with the index. Ghana (82), is in seventh place with the ultimate (eighth )place within the prime ten held by an unlikely candidate, the tiny island nation of Cape Verde. Its place (80) places it at second place in West Africa after Nigeria, notwhistanding its tiny inhabitants (underneath 600,000) and official language – Portuguese.


Extra African nations with official languages apart from English are more likely to make it into the highest rankings, says the report. Nonetheless there’s a caveat:

“To stay aggressive, these international locations should concentrate on growing extra seed ecosystems and bettering the standard of their present ones,” mentioned David.

These sentiments had been echoed through the 2nd version of the Francophone Africa Buyers Summit (FAIS), held in Dakar, earlier in March.

“We have to additional amplify our efforts if we wish to be a aggressive market,” mentioned Impression Hub Dakar Managing Director and co-organizer of the occasion, Aziz Sy.

Occasions like FAIS are a primary step in the best path, in keeping with Sy.

Arab-speaking Egypt can also be providing important competitors to the opposite three “large 4” incumbents, because of a sustained stand up the charts. Final yr the nation moved 11 positions and this yr moved 5 extra.

“Egypt has lowered the hole with its predecessor’s high quality and amount scores suggesting a rise in not solely the variety of startups but in addition the standard of the startups coming in a foreign country,” mentioned David.

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