Earlier this year, daily online news portal SME South Africa ran an extraordinary story about Brandon Kynoch, a 16-year-old entrepreneur from South Africa.
Brandon, a completely self-taught programmer, developed the game Torus. The first day it featured on the App Store it received 100,000 downloads in 24 hours and was Game of the Day in 137 app stores worldwide.
An outstanding feat, and one that evokes optimism—for once, a tech whizz who hails from somewhere other than the US or China.
Nonetheless, the article also taps into a systemic problem within South Africa—an inability to procure and keep hold of its top talent. Indeed, the article headline suggested Brandon could be ‘SA’s Best Tech Export’, and the piece finishes with him asserting his aspirations to further his craft at MIT or Stanford, in the US.
Owen Skae, the director of Rhodes Business School in South Africa, says he’s in no doubt that there is enormous potential on the African continent as a whole; the sum of a young population and tremendous natural resources.
But, the cost of doing business, he adds, curtails many entrepreneurs from pursuing their ambitions at home.
The potential of the continent is not restricted to those just present and on the ground there. McKinsey & Company reported recently that Africa is ‘a 1.2 billion-person market on the cusp of transformative growth’.
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