Cape Town Time:


Tap into a wealth of opportunities in Africa’s tech and innovation hub

31 August 2023

For centuries, Cape Town – strategically positioned almost at the southernmost tip of the African continent – has been connected to the globe through its world-class harbour, and later by Africa’s best airport.

Today, the Mother City is also conveniently placed near the landing site of Google’s Equiano subsea internet cable, making it the connectivity gateway between Africa and the world. Beyond this, it features a robust network of fibre-optic connectivity, which greatly accelerates internet access to over a million residents.

With its excellent infrastructure and a host of resources supporting innovation, this vibrant coastal city is a prime location for technological advancement and investment. Easily accessible by land, sea and its impressively fast internet, Cape Town is quickly cementing its reputation as Africa’s tech capital.

Start-up ecosystem

Ranked first for economic potential, business friendliness and startup status, Cape Town is home to nearly  60% of South Africa’s startups, and placed within the top 150 leading startup ecosystems globally (2023 Global Startup Index). This thriving city has built its tech ecosystem with supportive regulation, funding and infrastructure to the fore.

Other pivotal resources fuelling the growth of Cape Town’s startup sector include accelerators, co-working spaces, a deep and diverse coffee culture, as well as Africa’s oldest tech incubator, UVU Africa. UVU, formerly the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), has been instrumental in the development of more than 2 000 businesses and 3 000 entrepreneurs since its inception in 1999.

Size and scale

Named one of the most ambitious cities in the world, Cape Town’s tech industry sees 450 tech firms employing more than 40 000 individuals. While already impressive, these numbers signify the growing opportunities available for investment, collaboration and innovation.

Remarkably, Cape Town’s tech industry surpasses the combined size of Nairobi and Lagos, two of Africa’s other prominent tech hubs – emphasising its position as a dominant player in the continent’s tech landscape.

Empowering environment

To complement the startup ecosystem, Cape Town benefits from a robust investment environment. The city is counted among the fastest-growing regions for foreign direct investment (FDI), and houses several venture capital and angel investor firms that actively back promising tech ventures.

The Mother City also has a nationally funded ‘innovation district’, which aims to build a strong technology innovation community. With the availability of many investment channels, the city’s startups have unprecedented access to capital to scale their operations, develop ground-breaking solutions, and explore new market opportunities.

It’s a lifestyle

Beyond capital investments, Cape Town’s tech prowess is strengthened by its exceptional education and research institutions. The city boasts four world-class universities and two renowned business schools, empowering the local talent pool with cutting-edge knowledge and skills.

What’s more, Cape Town presents an attractive lifestyle with its picturesque surroundings and abundant opportunities for outdoor living – making it the ideal destination for investors seeking intellectual expertise and a tech-friendly atmosphere, set against a magnificent backdrop.

As the City of Cape Town continues to evolve and thrive in the tech space, it presents an exceptional opportunity for investors looking to tap into the continent’s burgeoning innovation economy. Its ability to attract and nurture talent, coupled with its commitment to research and development, distinguishes it as the tech powerhouse of the African continent.