Are African startup ecosystems falling behind the rest of the world?

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Africa’s startup ecosystems are falling behind those of the rest of the world, according to a new report.

Each year, Startupblink, a global startup ecosystem map with tens of thousands of registered startups, co-working spaces, and accelerators, releases a ranking of global startup ecosystems by country and city.

The Startup Ecosystem Rankings 2020 report ranks the startup ecosystems of 100 countries and 1,000 cities. The ranking algorithm was built in cooperation with data partners at CrunchBase, Semrush, UNAIDS, and Meetup, while the report was also joined by more than 40 governments, municipalities, and economic development organizations. 

In last year’s edition, the top countries in Africa were South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, and Nigeria, ranked 51st, 52nd, 56th and 60th respectively. This has all changed, however, after each of those countries fell down the rankings to various degrees.

South Africa remains the number one African ecosystem, but fell one place to 52nd. Kenya is still second, but fell 10 places to 62nd. Rwanda is third after falling one place to 65th, as a result of Nigeria losing 12 places on the rankings to 68th and Egypt falling 21 places to 81st.

Tunisia is 77th, Morocco 83rd, Ghana 85th, and Uganda 89th, while Cape Verde (91) and Somalia (95) are new to the rankings.

There were no Africa cities in the top 100 ecosystems, meanwhile. Large African cities such as Nairobi and Lagos registered substantial decreases, but some good news arrived from South Africa with an increase in several main city rankings.

The African city rankings were as follows – Nairobi (116, down 11), Lagos (127, down 28), Cape Town (146, up 11), Johannesburg (160, up 88), and Cairo (201, down 24).

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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