Career getting more African experts employed by international companies

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  • A new report indicates there was a record-high demand for African software developers in 2021.
  • African startups raised over $4 billion in 2021, 2.5 times more than in 2020, with fintech startups making up over half of this funding.
  • The gender gap between men developers and women developers widened, there are 2.5% fewer women developers in the workforce than there were in 2020. 
  • The developer ecosystem in Nigeria is thriving thanks to strong demand for developer talent, significant support from big tech, and startups raising the largest total amount of funding on the continent in 2021.

A new report from Google indicates that the year 2021 saw a record-breaking high in the demand for African software developers in the international jobs market.

According to the Africa Developer Ecosystem Report, the professionals also reported an increase in their salaries and compensation even as more developers secured full-time jobs - all these happening despite the global economic crisis and the impact of the pandemic.

"Despite a contracting economy, the pool of professional developers increased by 3.8% to make up 0.4% of the continent’s non-agricultural workforce.

"The shift to remote work also created more employment opportunities across time zones and continents for African developers while lifting the pay for senior talent. As a result, international companies are now recruiting African developers at record rates," the report indicated.

According to the survey, 2021 witnessed a 22% spike in the demand for web development services among small and medium businesses (SMBs), with 38% of African developers working for at least one company based outside of the continent.

Nigeria’s professional developer population, alone, is approximated to have increased by 5,000 in 2021.

Researchers found that the thriving developer ecosystem in Nigeria had been facilitated by strong demand for developer talent; significant support from big tech and startups raising the largest total amount of funding on the continent in 2021.

"While Africa’s tech innovation sector is making great strides, global tech companies, educators and governments can do more to ensure that the industry becomes a strategic economic pillar.

"At Google, we are intent on further igniting training and support for this community by bridging the existing developer skills gap and concentrating our efforts in upskilling female developers who face pointed challenges," Google Africa MD Nitin Gajria stated.

Google aims to train 100,000 developers across the continent by 2022.

To date, the African continent is home to more than 150 active Google Developer Groups and 100 Developer Student Clubs. Combined, these groups reach over 200,000 community members in 40 of the 48 countries in the Sub-Saharan African region.

“In order to reach this potential, we have to provide better access to high-quality, world-class skilling on mobile technologies platforms coupled with increasing connectivity in Africa. Our effort to increase connectivity is focused on infrastructure, devices, tools and product localisation,” Gajria added.

Editor's Note: Find the full report here.

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