Johannesburg based Ghanaian fintech entrepreneur, Philip Sowah believes it’s time African tech companies highlight the other areas and opportunities the youth can explore, when it comes to building their careers.
The 35 year old entrepreneur who started off as an Enterprise IT Support business owner is now building servers and bankend security for financial firms around the world.
“I will say I did not choose Fintech, I sort of fell into it because I have a strong background in IT and started my own business after a short stint doing a 9 to 5 job. One of my first clients was an investment firm and in the course of our relationship I got to understand some of the things that industry was lacking. So I decided to commit some resources into getting more knowledge and expertise so I could better serve that industry. So I assembled a team of developers, backend fortification engineers, and we make sure all the investment companies we work with, we build their systems in a way that makes it hard to penetrate. So I now focus more on fortification and making sure client servers are impenetrable.”
Philip Sowah and his team focus on three specialisations. “We are an Enterprise IT Support company which involves sourcing hardware, trenching, cabling, DevOps and engineering.
We also have the fintech angle where we build servers, fortification systems for investment companies, mergers and acquisition companies, small and medium scale brokerage firms and the likes. We also have the production IT Space where we have clients in the media production sector. Some of our clients work with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Showmax. We aid them to make sure their production rolls on properly, when it comes to the backend stuff which include servers, sourcing of hardware and storage and more.”
Philip believes there are many talented young Africans whose ideas can change and add more to the space currently but the talents need to be bold to explore opportunities in other parts of the continent where their skills are highly in demand.
“There is a lot of space and opportunities in Africa for young entrepreneurs, but I believe if I hadn’t travelled, I wouldn’t have been able to break through. Because some of the opportunities I have gotten were because I was in the country where the opportunities were.
“Ghana afforded me the opportunity to learn with some big minds and firms which I really appreciate but my first big break was after I left Ghana. The opportunity is there, structures are being put in place but it’s not that easy to break into it if you don’t put your best work forward and put yourself in communities where the skills are in high demand.
He pointed out that the current climate was a bit tricky because African talents are limited in terms of opportunities if you compare it to what is happening in the diaspora. The opportunities are coming up due to the expansion of the western companies and their continued demand for highly skilled personnel.
“The future of fintech in Africa is bright, the modalities are changing, a lot of investments are being made by the companies looking to expand on the continent of Africa. I see the future is bright but it’s going to take a lot of work on the part of the talents to find which industry and firm suit their skill sets.”
Together with some friends, Philip started a Pan African media company focusing on working with companies in Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya to upskills talents in these spaces and attract foreign investment.
He also expressed his excitement on the Young Boss programme based in Johannesburg South Africa. “It’s a group of ladies based in South Africa, and they are mentoring young Africans to have an entrepreneurial mindset. They are looking at problems and finding solutions that can be monetized and scaled to solve the various challenges the continent is dealing with.”