“Andela, Africa’s Tech Initiative connects companies with Africa’s most talented software developers”
As children of the digital age, we all know that the face of technology is always evolving. Tech names like Google, Facebook and Microsoft are constantly elevating the internet – technology game. Something like 1 in three of us have Facebook accounts which we use to network, share and view news around the world at the tip of our finger tips and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But Zuckerberg is definitely not an African name, so what’s this got to do with us?
Partnering with other young entrepreneurs like Jeremy Johnson and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji – founders of the Andela initiative, Mark Zuckerberg has invested over $24 million in funding this startup partly based in New York, Lagos and Nairobi in order to discover the adept software engineering skills hidden all over the continent. As it stands Africa is home to the largest untapped talent pool, with 7 of the 10 fastest growing internet populations existing in the ‘dark continent’. This is not only a smart business move by all those involved but it’s also a breeding ground that presents opportunities for young gifted Africans out there.
How does it work?
Receiving over 40,000 applicants for its job placements, Andela actually pays recruits to learn. After a rigorous enrollment process which involves a 2-week computer science boot camp, only 0.7% of the recruits are advanced as the developers that will carry on the intense training. After surviving enrollment, the chosen few are then partnered up with the likes of IBM, Microsoft and Google to continue on a 4-year learning experience. In completing this, the graduates are then head hunted for the best software development jobs around the globe.
But how do they make money?
The start-up enjoys enormous support from investors, business men and entrepreneurs alike, because ‘By valuing aptitude, motivation and grit over experience we can connect companies looking for strong technical talent with students’ (Jeremy Johnson). In other words, train your own super group of software developers so only you can hire them.
Now, there’s a lot of mixed feelings about this venture and what it can mean for these brilliant minds in the long run. But personally, I think this represents much-needed progress in Africa. The founders saw a big niche in the market and they filled it!
In just 2 years Andela has empowered people with elite skills, steady incomes and great potential for development on many aspects. Truly bridging the gap between the West and Africa’s tech factors. It’s up to us to chose how we then utilise such knowledge to raise our status in the tech field.
And who knows the next Steve Jobs could be sitting somewhere in the sub –Saharan sun.