Nurturing Africa’s most plentiful natural resource: talent

Fostering talent

This is a brilliant way to foster the kind of talent that African countries need to develop both socially and economically. Sure, some might argue that it is a shame they are using their skills to benefit companies outside of Africa. But this concern is far outweighed by the enormous opportunities it gives Africans to get valuable experience in global companies. Experience that can then be brought back and put to good use at home.

Private enterprise, public benefit

The company is called Andela and it provides a shining example of how the private sector can create a profitable business, while at the same time promoting broad and inclusive socio-economic development. The big question is: can this model be used on a much wider scale across Africa? It could be an ideal solution to the problem of training people in remote communities that don’t necessarily have the required resources or institutions on the ground.

I will continue to keep my eye out for original ideas that could release the potential of Africa’s latent workforce. In the words of the company itself: “It’s time to stop viewing [Africa] as simply a youth bulge—it is a talent bulge.”

Quick facts about Andela

Here are some quick facts about Andela and its raison d’être, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:

  • Andela was founded to train the top 1% of tech talent across the continent. After six months in their software-development programme, young men and women work remotely for Fortune 500 companies and start-ups around the world while receiving continuing training and support.
  • With more than one billion people, approximately 60% of them under age 25, and more than 25% of young people out of work in many places, Africa is home to the world’s largest pool of brainpower and talent.
  • While the populations of rich countries shrink and age, Africa’s overall population is expected to double by 2050. Nigeria alone is projected to have more than 750 million people by 2100.

Rosalind Kainyah, MBE, Founder and Managing Director

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