ANDELA: DISTRUPTION AT ITS BEST

The reality of the world we live in means more and more around the world people are crossing borders as a result of work opportunities. However when it comes to Africans working in other countries this is seldom the case. In a recent study [1]by the expat networking organization InterNations, one out of every sixth of their 1.6 million members is currently living in an African country. The reason foreigners are flocking here is because of the massive salaries up for grabs. According to the same study mentioned above, Africa is home to the world’s highest number of expats making more than $250,000 annually. This is a clear demonstration that while intelligence has been equally spread across the world, opportunities have not. Jeremy Johnson, the founder of Andela wants to change this, specifically for African web developers and programmers.

Fundamentally, Andela is a program that discovers the most talented African programmers, trains them before subsequently placing them at exciting new Start-Ups such as Udacity and Fortune 500s like Microsoft. Since its launch in July last year, Andela has been challenging the status quo by creating a new model for how companies hire staff. Like any learning institution potential students apply for admission, but unlike most higher learning establishments Andela has a 0.7% acceptance rate. This is further refined by a two-week boot camp making it the most selective tech training program in Africa. Once the best and brightest have been admitted, they go through a series of aptitude tests and extensive training sessions for six months. Above and beyond training, Andela pays their students to learn by providing them with a wage that puts them in the top 5% of Nigerian earners. Currently the Start-Up is piloting in Lagos, Nigeria and has received 16,000 applications.

The innovative Start-Up has just closed a series of funding where the venture capital firms Spark Capital, Learn Capital, Omidyar Network among others participated. They managed to collect $10 Million and they intend to use these funds to increase capacity across other African countries to train 100,000 African developers over the next decade. This model is sustainable because while Fortune 500s enter the African market, they are going to want developers who fully understand the market.

[1] Expat Insider – Survey Report – 2014

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