2021 has been a noteworthy year that has seen the African tech sector bounce back from the difficulties it faced in 2020. Here’s a list of 21 things that happened for the first time in the African tech scene this year.
The growing popularity of NFTs has puzzled many, yet it has opened the door for artists and creators from Africa to sell their content to a global audience. With global sales of NFTs topping $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, we saw African artists like Niyi Okeowo and Nyahan Tachie-Menson sell thousands of dollars worth of NFT; Osinachi sell $75,000 worth of crypto art in 10 days; and Nyasha Warambwa’s work got featured on the New York Times Square billboard.
The world’s first 3D printed school opened its doors in July, in Malawi. The school was built by 14Trees, a joint venture between a British development firm and a Swiss company that specialises in building materials. The school’s walls were printed in just 18 hours, compared to the several days it takes to build with conventional building materials. The process in general significantly minimises the time, cost, and materials used for building houses and schools. Hopefully, this technology can help address the severe shortage of schools in the country.