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[OPINION] COVID-19 and Africa’s B2B Tech Markets

“In Africa our business economies are underpinned by a relatively small number of corporates. These corporates, never the most agile to start with, are likely to shift into “bunny rabbit in the headlights” mode. Most will freeze, they will have employees that are justifiably petrified about their future and don’t have the resources to adjust to the new realities. If corporates are able to respond and adjust quickly, they could grab market share as their competitors are still reeling. If a business is ‘inside the beast’ with a signed contract and an essential service and approved budget, the corporate should pull them through the downturn. If a business is in a corporate sales cycle, it is likely to slow down or stop and not restart for a while. The mid-markets are likely to be the most resilient depending on the sector. E-commerce is in a growth spurt. Ed-tech relating to online learning is booming however our traditional education systems will take a while to recover. Certain areas of health-tech will boom. Most fintechs are linked to liquidity in the economy but those that offer a low cost to serve could boom. B2B digitisation looks like it will be a relatively stable sector in the short and medium term, if businesses can get over the crunch.” – Keith Jones, co-founder of virtual accelerator Sw7.