Andela, a US software training organization, is betting on East Africa as a strategic location from which to recruit and train software developers for top employers around the world.
And Andela’s vice president for global operations — Seni Sulyman — believes the region has a supply of “amazing” tech talent and potential for growth.
“Over the years, Kenya’s Silicon Savannah has had a tremendous impact on the region in terms of developing a strong tech scene that has seen a proliferation of talent and innovative startups,” Sulyman told Ventureburn in a July 29 email.
The effects of this proliferation of talent and of the growth in the number of innovative startups in the region have been felt in locations such as Kampala, where Andela recently launched a hub, and in Kigali, where the company intends to open space in December, he said.
The launch of the Kigali pan-African hub, he said, reinforces Andela’s belief that “brilliance is evenly distributed and there is talent to nurture across the continent”.
“Over the past four years, we’ve gotten thousands of applications from individuals based in countries where Andela is not yet operating, and they’ve been unable to relocate given visa restrictions.
“Now, with the launch of a pan-African hub and the support from the Rwandan government on obtaining flexible work permits for all African citizens, anyone is able to participate in Andela,” he explained.
‘Contributing to local tech ecosystem’
Sulyman pointed out how Andela developers are “actively contributing” to the growth of the local tech ecosystem. “Andela developers host tech meetups, speak at events, and mentor junior developers in an effort to raise the bar for local tech talent and share their skills and experience with the next generation,” he said.
The company also provides free learning resources and mentorship to thousands of “high-potential technologists” through the Andela Learning Community.
“By up-skilling a generation of tech talent, Andela hopes to drive innovation and startup growth in Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, and cities across the continent,” he said.
He added that the company anticipates that some of its developers will go onto start their own companies, while some will continue on with Andela as senior developers and technical team leadsSuleyman
Sulyman: “We’re excited to support the startups founded by Andela alumni and witness the impact they’ll make on Nigeria and the world”.