How Nigeria and rest of Africa can fill global IT skill gaps, Tunga

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In 2020, there will be an estimated shortage of 900,000 software programmers in Europe and up to a million in the U.S. 83% of companies in Europe and the U.S. are struggling to source tech talent. Africa appears poise to fill those gaps. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy with a huge population over 200 million is a viable IT skill market to service the rest of the world.

Tunga is working to meet this need. The demand for IT staff is increasing worldwide, and working remotely is hot. The IT sector therefore expects 38% of their permanent employees to work remotely ten years from now. Tunga has a network of over 300 African software developers spread over Uganda, Nigeria and Egypt. All of these are countries with large native tech communities. For many companies, Africa is still a blind spot when it comes to software development, but the continent has enormous potential as an IT talent pool. Furthermore, the largely overlapping time zones with Europe result in a maximum time difference of 2 hours. 

Ernesto Spruyt, founder of Tunga, describes his company’s mission and its working methods as follows: “With us, the knife cuts both ways. On the one hand, we work with people in areas where unemployment is high and opportunities are limited. This way, we create jobs for African youth in areas where the social impact is highest. On the other hand, it enables us to offer a great service at an affordable price. Our customers often want to launch a new software product or prototype quickly, something that is difficult in Europe due to the scarcity of IT people, the high rates and, to be honest, also the sometimes indifferent attitude of programmers. Our people in Africa are super motivated and show no primadonna behavior.”

Nigeria, Egypt greatest potential for software development

When it comes to software development, Africa is a blind spot to many companies. The continent, however, has great potential, as we can tell from investments by Google and Facebook. The African talent pool could be a solution for companies that struggle to find good software developers. Dutch company Tunga published a report about outsourcing of IT-jobs to African employees. In this report, the African countries that are most suitable for finding software developers as well as the reasons why are discussed. The research report identifies Nigeria and Egypt as greatest potential for software development on the continent.

The report Best African Countries for Sourcing Software Developers 2019 provides solid statistics on software development in Africa. By focusing on different aspects in the sector a complete overview is provided, from Algeria to South Africa. Which countries harbour the best tech-talents? Where is the tech-ecosystem growing fastest and where to go for best English language skills? What about wages? Which countries have a stable business climate? The research has been conducted by Tunga during the past four years in which they have employed software developers in, among others, Nigeria, Egypt and Uganda; all countries with big tech communities. The projects are monitored by dedicated project managers to ensure that the needs of international clients are met by a professional team.

Tunga team

No primadonna behaviour

Ernesto Spruyt, founder of Tunga, on the mission and the method of his company: “There is a double advantage to our strategy. On the one hand, we work with people in places with high unemployment rates and few opportunities. This way, we create jobs for African youths in places where it has the highest positive impact on society.  This also means that we can offer a high-quality service at very competitive rates. Our clients usually want to launch a new software product or prototype quickly, which is quite a challenge in Europe because of the scarcity of developers, high hourly rates and, let’s be honest, the sometimes indifferent attitude of developers. Our people in Africa are incredibly motivated and do not display any primadonna behaviour.”

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