In a world increasingly reliant on technology, the need for a skilled tech workforce is more critical than ever. Africa, with its youthful population and burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit, is at the forefront of a new wave of innovation. Startups across the continent are stepping up to the plate, not only by training individuals but also ensuring their seamless transition into tech careers.
Here, we'll highlight five African startups that are playing a pivotal role in transforming lives through tech training and sometimes job placement.
After recognizing the shortage of technology talent in the United States and seeing an opportunity in Africa, Christina Sass, Jeremy Johnson, Ian Carnevale, Nadayar Enegesi, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, and Brice Nkengsa founded Andela in 2014.
With its "Talent-as-a-Service" model, Andela is dedicated to training software developers across Africa. They provide rigorous training programs, and once the trainees are ready, they connect them with global tech companies, effectively bridging the gap between Africa's talented youth and the world's tech job market.
The program provides students with six months of intensive on-the-job training, followed by 3.5 years of remote employment for partner companies, where they work remotely or from one of four Andela office spaces in Africa.
As the name implies, AltSchool is an alternative school that offers a digital learning platform where interested learners can sign up to kickstart their tech career and learn in-demand skills in 12-months. Some of the programs offered include engineering (frontend, backend, cloud), product, data, sales. content creation and music business.
AltSchool employs an income-sharing agreement (ISA) when students complete the program and get hired. They’re expected to pay $500, which can be paid in full or installments — $50 over 10 months or $100 over five months.
As of September 2023, it announced it had 20,000 students from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, and the United Kingdom who were enrolled on the platform. In 2022, AltSchool Africa raised $1 million pre-seed funding.
AltSchool was founded in 2021 by Adewale Yusuf, Akintunde Sultan and Opeyemi Awoyemi.
Founded by Richard Brandt in 2017, CodeTrain is an in-person software training institute located in Ghana.
Codetrain offers coding bootcamps and intensive training programs for individuals looking to acquire skills in web development, mobile app development, and other areas of software engineering. These bootcamps typically run for a fixed duration and are designed to equip students with practical skills needed for careers in tech. Additionally, they offer career support services to help graduates secure employment in the tech industry by connecting students to job opportunities, providing job search assistance, and offering general career guidance services.
With 600 alumini and counting, about 89% of students secure tech jobs within nine months of graduating.
ALX Africa is an organization that offers various training programs and resources for individuals looking to develop their skills in technology and leadership.
ALX offers a mix of online and in-person learning experiences. Their digital platform allows for remote participation in courses, while they also have physical hubs in various locations in Africa, where learners can engage in face-to-face learning experiences. Some of the training programs offered include software engineering, data analytics and AWS Cloud Computing.
Occasionally, they partner with organizations like the Mastercard Foundation to offer scholarships to interested applicants who would like to be enrolled in any of the programs.
Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is an Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for technology startups in Africa.
Founded in 2008 in Accra, Ghana, the MEST Training Program is an intensive 12-month, full-time, fully sponsored program in which the cohort – known as Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) – complete a graduate-level course in software development, business, and communications, with a focus on practical implementation.
After the training, selected startup ideas are funded to launch and scale operations. As a result, over 80 African tech companies have been launched including Meqasa, Kudobuzz, Asoriba, Complete Farmer, TroTro Tractor, BezoMoney.
These are a few startups that exemplify the transformative potential of tech education in Africa. By providing training and job placement opportunities, they empower individuals to secure meaningful careers in the tech industry, and in doing so, they contribute to the continent's economic growth and global tech ecosystem. The journey from novice to tech professional may seem daunting, but with the guidance of these startups, it's becoming increasingly attainable for many across Africa.