African cities and countries rank lower in the 2020 global startup ecosystems’ list by Startup Blink. The global ranking of regional giants like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa as preferred startup destinations fell significantly. This is despite these countries maintaining their dominance within the region.
Kenya is now the 62 best startup ecosystem, compared to position 52 last year, whereas Nigeria is 68th from 56th position. Similarly, Egypt fell from position 60 to position 81, Rwanda fell from 61 to 65 while South Africa dropped to position 52 from position 51.
Cameroon, Algeria, Botswana, and Ethiopia are no longer among the top places for startups. The changes do “not necessarily reflect a worsening of the absolute state of the specific ecosystem, but a faster pace of improvement in other countries.”
However, it is not all bleak. Somalia made its debut on the world’s top 100 countries for startups, at 95th position.
Nairobi holds top position as Africa’s startup city, beating Lagos and Capetown. Last year, the ranking put Nairobi at 2nd place, recognizing its ideal regulatory environment and its wealth of startups despite receiving minimal global funding and investment.
This year’s ranking also incorporated the country’s innovations in response to COVID-19. Kenya shows the most innovative response in the continent and ranks 23rd globally, ahead of Japan and Russia.