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Why SA software developers can coin it in 2022

In terms of financial reward for software developers in Africa, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia top the list, according to research by Dutch IT staff augmentation provider Tunga.

Research shows that in terms of Euros per month, the average salary per month in South Africa is €1,911, with Moroccan coders the second highest earners (at €1,018), followed by the Kenyans (at €788). Nigeria (€586) and Uganda (€568) are halfway down the table, with Ethiopia at the bottom (€194).

The company investigated the average and high developer salaries in the top 17 software development countries in Africa. The numbers were adjusted for the local cost of living, showing that South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia are the best-paying countries for high-end African software developers.

Tunga said with the exception of Egypt, North African countries are the most attractive for developers, as a result of the relatively high salaries and low cost of living.

“Next in line are the East African nations and Egypt. The financially least attractive countries for coders are in West Africa, with Ethiopia all the way at the bottom,” the company added.

Ernesto Spruyt, founder and CEO of Tunga, elaborates on the research results: “South Africa topping the list was no surprise, but our research shows there are other countries where you can earn a comparable living. Of course, we understand people can’t just pack up and leave. But obviously knowing their market value helps developers in planning their careers and in negotiating with employers and customers. Also we feel that creating transparency contributes to a better level playing field for developers across the continent.”

Tunga said it used and cross-checked salary data from Glassdoor, Paylab, Payscale, Salary Explorer, Average Salary Survey, TechJaja and Mywage. For the details on cost of living, the company consulted the site of Numbeo, but decided to benchmark the numbers to South Africa.

In February this year, Tunga released a report, based on two years of research, which identified Egypt and Nigeria as “sleeping giants” when it comes to available tech talent.

They were singled out for the size of their population, as well as tech talent pools.

Tunga added, “There are also promising outsiders like Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, Rwanda and Cameroon, with all different backgrounds, from languages spoken (French in Senegal) to business climate (Excellent in Rwanda). Late-bloomers such as Ethiopia and Tanzania have a lot of unlocked potential but are fairly new to this market.”

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