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'Africa not investing enough in software development'

By , Portals editor
Africa , 29 Jan 2019

'Africa not investing enough in software development'

The shortage of software developers is a global issue, but one felt more acutely in Africa where obvious challenges can be addressed by leveraging technology.

This is according to Seni Sulyman, VP of Global Ops at Nigeria-based Andela, which builds distributed engineering teams with Africa's top software developers.

Sulyman believes Africa is in a unique position in which it has access to all the resources required to propel itself into a tech-driven leadership role, take advantage of opportunities to innovate and lead some technological advancement, but there is not enough investment in software development skills and careers.

"The software development know-how that will help us solve many of the challenges Africans face daily is widely available and accessible. As a continent , we are not investing enough in enabling tens or hundreds of thousands of Africans to develop software development skills and careers."

Founded in 2014 Andela believes it is well placed to assist businesses in developing the technical talent they require.

It recently completed a US$100-million Series D funding round, led by Generation Investment Management with participation from existing investors including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital, and CRE Venture Capital.

The most recent financing brings Andela's total venture funding to US$180-million.

Towards the end of 2018, the company launched its first PPP with the Rwanda Development Board to open a hub in Kigali through which software developers could apply directly to the company.

The company plans to accelerate the development of its tech platform to identify, develop and match talent by scale.

"In four years, Andela has hired 1,100 developers out of more than 100,000 applicants, and is now in a position to provide customers with the data and insight they need to understand developer performance and better manage their distributed teams. Managing distributed teams required a deeper level of transparency and insight – you need to rely on data to drive performance management,

"We realised this four years ago when we started placing our first developers with partner companies, and started building rudimentary internal tools to monitor developer performance. Four years later, we know this is something our partners want and need, so now we're investing heavily in building out our own technology. We want to roll this technology to many more partners in the coming months," Sulyman continues.

Although the company has no immediate plans for expansion into a new country, it plans to scale its developer talent further and focus on metrics that determine whether it can successfully operate within a new region.

According to Sulyman these metrics include infrastructure, quality of internet access, business environment and education.

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