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Andela Receives $24m/8b Naira In Funding Led By The Zuckerbergs To Expand Its Program In Africa

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As demand for software and programming jobs are set to continue to rise even as the effects of automation begins to take it s toll on the technology world, there’s no  shortage of startups and companies who have set up training outfits for people who want to learn to code. While some of these institutions are free especially the ones you find online, many are totally paid for. In the paid category are those that promise to connect the newly trained programmer to jobs. Andela is one of those companies who train you and help you develop your talent by connecting you with clients. With a pilot program in their Lagos base last year, reports had it that over 16,000 applications have been received so far and  Andela  raised $10m/3.4b Naira in funding to expand its operations at the time. Now though, the  Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), founded by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan is leading a venture funding for  Andela to the tune of $24m/8b Naira. The funding is in recognition of the “quality” developers it churns out every year. The company which has offices in Lagos and Nairobi also plans to open a third office on the continent as part of their  plans to expand further into Africa. Also joining the CZI are GV (formerly Google Ventures), Spark Capital, the Omidyar Network, and the San Francisco-based Learn Capital all of whom were part of the initial $10m funding last year. Andela is not a charity, it’s a profit driven organisation.

Home to about a billion people, nearly 200 million of the population are between the ages of 15 to 24 and this makes Africa the continent with youngest population in the world. There is high unemployment rate across all the major economies  on the continent including the biggest economy by GDP Nigeria. In a 2013 United Nations report on Africa, “Youth account for 60% of all African unemployed, according to the World Bank. In North Africa, the youth unemployment rate is an eyebrow-raising 30%. It is even worse in Botswana, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, South Africa and several other countries. 

Young women feel the sting of unemployment even more sharply. The AfDB found that in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa and all of those in North Africa, it is easier for men to get jobs than it is for women, even if they have equivalent skills and experience….. Simply put, underemployment is not a solution to poverty, concurs the International Labour Organization (ILO), which reports that up to 82% of African workers are “working poor.” According to the African Economic Outlook, on average, more than 70% of Africa’s youth live on less than US$2 per day, the internationally defined poverty threshold.

So in spite of the over 6% growth in the last decade that has seen some African nations  named emerging nations, there’s still a prevailing high unemployment rate because most of this growth does not include local talents and services  which are still being imported.

Lastly while there is this reality, most of the outsourced software and programming jobs from developed countries typically go to countries like India, Andela envisions a time when part of these jobs can come this way. The program could employ people and bring up a new set of entrepreneurs which the continent badly needs.  

Andela was founded  Ian Carnevale, Jeremy Johnson, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, and Christina Sass in May  2014

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