Become part of the Collective to the strengthen Cape Town position as Africa’s Tech Capital
Through a collective effort of all parties – Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town, Wesgro, major tech eco-system stakeholders including CITI, Silicon Cape, LaunchLab and Startup Bootcamp, we aim to make it known that we are:
Africa's Tech Capital - A place with a world-class digital ecosystem, where resources and talent meet commercial and social opportunity.
We need to affirm our status as leader of the African tech ecosystem, and declare this on the international stage. We have the overwhelming evidence that Cape Town is Africa’s leading tech capital. Now, we need to jointly tell the world!
The initiative seeks to clearly represent the values, skills, talent, innovation and lifestyle offered by the tech ecosystem of Cape Town and the Western Cape, and to showcase Cape Town as Africa’s Tech Capital. This will attract international investment and funding, reinforce our brand to stimulate exports of our tech products and services, stimulate up-take of tech in our local industries, and raise awareness of tech career opportunities amongst our youth.
Why is this important?
Digital companies now hold 8 out of the top 10 places in the Fortune 500, with market caps for the first time breaching the US$1trillion mark. In 2019, the World Bank determined the digital economy to be equivalent to 15.5% of the world’s overall GDP, and expects it expect it to reach 25 % in less than a decade, quickly outpacing the growth of the overall economy. The World Bank also found that digital technologies have accounted for more approximately one third of the GDP growth in high income countries, but only half that in developing countries due to less intensive uptake.
In the same study, the World Bank challenged South Africa with a ‘moonshot’ goal’ to create more than ZAR 5 trillion in value over the next decade through the use of digital technologies in key industry sectors, including agriculture, public infrastructure and administration, financial services and manufacturing. In the Western Cape, we have the infrastructure, skills and other structures to take a disproportionate share of this ZAR 5 trillion and direct the lion’s share of investment to the Western Cape. Technology companies – from start-ups, to scale-ups to mature organisations – are the key to this.
Having affected practically every facet of life and the economy — globally, nationally and locally — COVID-19 has been described as the digital accelerant of the decade as most businesses and organisations were forced to initiate and accelerate their digital transformation agendas. Many thousands of businesses and millions of citizens in the Western Cape had to rapidly transition to new ways of working, including having a significant component of the workforce working from home. This transition is arguably irreversible as the previous inhibitors to innovation have been removed, and digital practices are now the lifeblood of many organisations. This is indeed the new way of work, and the need to rapidly digitize operations and reorientate the workforce to work remotely has brought both challenges and opportunities.
The Western Cape is already one of the best performing regions for technology start-ups on the continent. The sector boasts some of the most exciting and rapidly growing start-ups. There is firm evidence that the Cape Town/Stellenbosch region already employs more than double the amount of people in the tech sector than both Nairobi and Lagos combined. We see the digital economy as one of the Western Cape’s competitive advantages to attract investment into the province, promote outward trade of our digital products and capabilities, and enhance the uptake and adoption of digital technologies among with Western Cape companies in order to improve on our growth and competitiveness.
How has this been determined?
A Global Digital Region Co-Ordination Forum – consisting of DEDAT, City of Cape Town, Wesgro, Silicon Cape, Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CITI), LaunchLab and Startupbootcamp - was established to provide guidance into initiatives that would set and position the Western Cape as a Global Digital Region.
In 2018/19, the Forum built the business case for the digital proposition of the Western Cape/Cape Town tech ecosystem, researched the local tech ecosystem, and conducted a comparative analysis of countries that have already positioned themselves as digital hubs. This process included a design thinking workshop held in December 2018 with industry stakeholders. The findings are as summarized below:
- Cape Town: a place to live your best life enabled by a dynamic ecosystem and inspired by boundless, purposeful opportunities for innovation and growth
- Cape Town: a place with a world-class digital ecosystem, where resources and talent meets commercial and social opportunity
- Cape Town: a place where talented people thrive and are nurtured by the Mother City’s unparalleled beauty and lifestyle
The resulting value proposition of ecosystem leadership, purpose and opportunity was tested with stakeholders and found to resonate with them.
The tagline ‘Cape Town: Africa’s Tech Capital’ was concluded by the forum following several rounds to identify the name. While the study and outcomes are for the benefit of the Western Cape as a whole, it was concluded that it has been internationally indicated that the words "Western Cape" did not test well in terms of recognition in the international market, while the brand of "Cape Town" did. In terms of the local tech industry, the strength lies in the Cape Town – Stellenbosch corridor. Research has shown that global players also do not see Stellenbosch as distinct from Cape Town.
The logo incorporates the outcomes of all engagements with the local ecosystem as well as the research conducted. The logo illustrates Cape Town as Africa’s Tech Capital with the value proposition showcasing what potential investors can expect when engaging with the local tech ecosystem.
Please download the latest tech ecosystem booklet here.
How do I get my company involved?
Interested companies will need to sign up to a code of conduct, and then be able to make free use of the common branding in their promotions, literature and other documentation.
To be part of building the profile of Cape Town as Africa’s Tech Capital register here to receive the logo and brand assets.
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