Music Star Patoranking Is Latest Pop Celeb Backing Africa’s Tech Ambitions

By  |  May 31, 2024

African music star, Patrick Okorie, better known as Patoranking, is the latest in a growing list of pop celebrities and famous personalities throwing their weight behind the continent’s growing tech ambitions.

In a significant move reflecting the growing convergence of African music celebrities with the continent’s tech landscape, Nigerian artist Patoranking has announced a substantial investment in tech education through his foundation. The Patoranking Foundation, which boasts several multi-country initiatives targeted at advancing Africa through education and entrepreneurship, has unveiled a USD 500 K tech scholarship initiative.

“At Patoranking Foundation, we are dedicated to advancing Africa through education and entrepreneurship,” emphasized Patrick Okorie, founder of the Patoranking Foundation. “This partnership with ALX Africa represents a significant step towards equipping African youth with the skills needed to succeed in the digital age.”

Partnering with ALX Africa, a leading tech training provider, the Patoranking Foundation aims to empower 40 young Africans with transformative technological skills. This initiative resonates with Patoranking’s vision of equipping the next generation with advanced digital competencies crucial for global employability and entrepreneurial endeavours.

“The introduction of a USD 500 K tech scholarship in partnership with ALX Africa marks a new chapter in the Foundation’s mission,” added Okorie. “This step takes us closer to our goal of equipping one million Africans within the next 10 years.”

Patoranking’s venture into tech education mirrors a broader trend of African music stars tapping into the tech sector. Celebrated figures such as Mr Eazi, Davido, Don Jazzy and Black Coffee, among others, have made substantial strides in supporting African startups, leveraging their influence and financial resources to foster entrepreneurship and drive change. It’s also noteworthy that several famous African sports stars, including Asisat Oshoala, Sadio Mane and Édouard Mendy, have gotten in on the act in recent years, venturing into the tech industry.

While tech has not been a favourite, historically, among Africa’s successful, high-earning global superstars who have traditionally tilted towards investments in the real economy, recent milestones in the form of successful products addressing vital needs, soaring funding activity, and rising M&A interests (with notable examples in the Paystack, InstaDeep, and Appruve deals) have conferred increased validation upon the local tech startup scene and heightened interest.

Overall, Patoranking’s foray into tech education adds a new dimension to the narrative of African music celebrities becoming influential players in Africa’s tech ecosystem. With their support, African startups are poised to make significant strides in driving innovation, creating jobs, and transforming communities across the continent.

Notable educator and entrepreneur Fred Swaniker, Founder of ALX Africa, said the collaboration with Patoranking Foundation aims to “empower tomorrow’s tech disruptors and innovative community leaders with the most in-demand hard and soft skills to solve the problems of the continent and beyond.” 

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