Andela to open Pan-African technology hub in Kigali

Emerging software developers in Rwanda will, in the coming weeks, have an opportunity to work for global tech giants such as IBM, MasterCard and Github, among others
L-R: Minister for ITC Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, Andela CEO Jeremy Johnson and RDB chief executive Clare Akamanzi pose for a photo after the MoU signing ceremony. Nadege Imbabazi.

Emerging software developers in Rwanda will in the coming weeks have an opportunity to work for global tech giants such as IBM, MasterCard and Github, among others, courtesy of Andela, a technology training and job placement firm.

Andela yesterday signed an agreement with the government to establish a Pan-African tech hub.

How it works

Over the next five years, the firm plans to recruit up to 500 Rwandans with expertise in software development and offer them six months paid training. Trainees will receive over 900 skill checkpoints enabling them to be competitive across the world.

Thereafter, Andela will offer the new trainees jobs as remote members of software development teams at world leading firms.

Andela works with over 150 firms spread across 45 cities globally.

In the training phase of the 500 software developers, the firm said that they expect to incur between $15,000 and $20,000 each, raising its market entry outlay to between $7.5 million and to $10 million.

The intake process will however be done in phases beginning August.

Jeremy Johnson the Chief Executive of the Andela said that the software developers will be able to work remotely for firms across the world with most of them in the US.

He said that the application will not require any technical background in the sector or college degrees but will be largely based on interest and drive.

“The application process is non-trivial. It does not require a college degree or any technical background. Anyone is able to apply. What Andela focuses on is based on one’s interest and drive and determination,” he said.

The organisation will also train and employ about 200 developers from the region thus making it a Pan-African software development hub.

How the firm makes money

Andela makes money by charging clients (the international firms in which it places the software developers) per workers placed on respective firms.

The firm collects the proceeds, pays the developers about a third of the amount with the rest acting as their revenue.

However, the firm maintains that the salary to the developers is way higher than the average pay in most countries.

The Minister for Information Technology and Communications (ITC), Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, welcomed the development, saying that it will improve the competitiveness of the local tech ecosystem.

However, some players in the local tech ecosystem have expressed skepticism over the ability of local software developers to make the most of the opportunity.

This is hinged on the comments by a large section of the private sector on the quality of graduates often citing a mismatch between graduates capacities and market demands.

However, the minister said that Rwanda will be able to make the most of the opportunity as the firm will also have a capacity building component.

He said that the government would continue to make efforts in capacity development to ensure the country can make the most of the opportunity.

“It will…create an ecosystem for local software development advancements,” Rurangirwa added.

Rwanda Development Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi, said that the development will also expose Rwanda to more opportunities across the world.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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