When foreigners hear about Africa, what comes to mind are common conceptions which include high level of poverty, poor access to good health & education and corruption. Yet, these problems are not specific to Africa alone.
That said, an average African should not be judged based on their environment especially in terms of having necessary skills in comparison to their international counterparts.
What people looking at Africa from the outside may not realize is that her fast growing economy, young population, internet penetration rate and access to mobile devices play a role in providing a universal access to education and skill development like learning programming languages.
Here are five reasons to tap into Africa’s share of untapped software engineers and developers:
- English speakers: Communication in the workplace is important for delivering clear and ambiguous messages to coworkers, customer and business partners. This why companies seek to hire people who can communicate effectively. Thankfully, English, the lingua franca, is among the most spoken languages in Africa, with countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morroco, Egypt and Angola taking top positions. You won’t have to worry much about a lack of English speakers when choosing an African techie for hire.
- Internet penetration & fast broadband speeds: Internet penetration rate statistics in Africa as of December 2017 shows that 35.2% of her population are presently on the internet, with countries like Kenya having mobile internet speed ranking higher than countries like the US. This means that your African tech talent is presently on the internet learning up to date technologies and software to make them marketable in the international labor market.
- Access to renewable energy: Although most African countries do not have access to electricity from local grids, countries like Kenya and Nigeria are using affordable solar panels to generate electricity to power small homes and personal devices like laptops, phones and wifi routers.
- Growing remote work culture: More companies are looking to hire remotely in order to access the best talent without geographic limitation. Already positioned online, your African tech talent is equipped from their current location with the use of communication tools like Slack, Trello, Google Apps, Skype, Zoom, Asana and tracking tools like Toptal.
5. Untapped Tech Talent Supply: Lastly, it is hard to deny that Africa’s technology industry is on the rise and software developers are not left behind. There is currently a pool of untapped tech talent to explore. Africa may have its economic and social problems, however, thanks to internet growth, she currently remains the home of growing, untapped talent in tech that can add immense value in diversifying your team.
Do you have any experience hiring a remote development team from Africa? What advice would you give other business owners and managers?