The IT Industry in Zimbabwe: Companies, Insights & Data
Zimbabwe’s ICT sector was worth an estimated $3.11 billion in 2017, constituting 21.7% growth from 2016. The telecommunications segment makes up the vast majority of this at around $3.2 billion. Other important contributors are broadcasting, data center services, cloud, IT, and BPO.
Zimbabwe’s combination of relatively stable governance, strategic location, and young and innovative population has made it an attractive destination for multinational companies. Several notable firms such as Deloitte and Orange have offices in Harare, and some have based their entire African operations on these offices.
Why you should work with Zimbabwean IT companies
Digital service providers in the cloud and BPO markets are largely involved in the provision, rather than the development, of services, whilst Zimbabwean firms are more prevalent in the fintech and eCommerce markets. The physical technology required for the delivery of digital services is typically imported, and it is not clear that Zimbabwe could produce these products more efficiently.
A key strength in the digital services market is the acceptance of mobile services. Any consumer solution entering the market would have to be mobile-compatible. Mobile healthcare services are expected to grow particularly rapidly as the sophistication of these offerings increases.
What to pay attention to when working with Zimbabwean IT companies and web agencies
On the consumer side, it is vital that any proposed digital service offering be mobile-compatible due to the prevalence of mobile usage in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, smartphone penetration in the region is steadily increasing, thus increasing the sophistication of viable digital service offerings.
Given the acceptance of fintech by the Zimbabwean population, a possible route to entry in the consumer market is to acquire one of the many smaller fintech firms in the industry. This would resolve some of the primary barriers to entry, most specifically bureaucratic red tape and a lack of local knowledge.
On the corporate side, the most effective route to entry is likely through partnerships with smaller local resellers. This model is already popular in the Zimbabwean market. A key differentiating feature here will be how well the service adapted to the Zimbabwean market.
How reliable are Zimbabwean-based IT companies?
Considered to be one of the biggest African IT hubs, Zimbabwean web agencies and IT companies compete only with Ethiopian ones in terms of reliability. As many foreign companies have already invested and thus developed the local IT infrastructure and industry overall, Zimbabwean IT companies find it easier than other neighboring countries to enter the global market and provide their services for accessible prices.
How the Zimbabwean IT industry relate to the neighboring countries?
Zimbabwe is actively trying to establish itself as a key ICT hub in the East African region. The country appears to be making good progress in this regard, helped by having a strong connectivity infrastructure and a young, innovative population. Despite this, the country currently faces considerable political uncertainty, and issues surrounding the transparency of tenders remain a major barrier to growth.
Although Zimbabwe’s score for the metric measuring the economic impact of ICT is not high in absolute terms, it ranks 54th in the world. This supports the conjecture that businesses, government, and consumers will be receptive to new technologies as ICT has already had a substantial impact on the Zimbabwean economy.
Is Zimbabwe Tech Industry Ready for 2022?
At the end of 2021, Zimbabwe announces big plans for the Global Entrepreneurship week that will hopefully boost the startup scene in the country for 2022. The name of the program that gives hope to tech entrepreneurs from Zimbabwe is Startup Huddle, and it has already a location in Harare. Hopefully that the direct consequence of this program will expand in 2022 as a new startup boom focused on tech and IT