The International Finance Corporation (IFC), found that Africa’s Internet economy has the potential to reach 5.2% of GDP by 2025. The demand for African developers by the global tech industry is on the rise, this was a key finding of the “Africa Developer Ecosystem Report 2021,” recently launched by Google.
The outcome was the product of a study conducted across 16 Sub-Saharan African countries through fielded and analysed surveys of software developers as well as interviews with local experts. According to the report, demand for African developers reached a record high in 2021 against the backdrop of a global economic crisis and the impact of the pandemic.
With increased (+22%) use of the internet among small and medium businesses (SMBs) on the continent, the need for web development services also increased alongside higher demand for remote development work (38% of African developers work for at least one company based outside of the continent). This is evidenced by the magnitude of growth in Nigeria’s professional developer population which added an estimated 5,000 new professional developers to its pool in 2021, according to Google.
“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,” says Nitin Gajria, managing director, Google in Africa. “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.”
Following a series of initiatives (including developer advocacy, startup acceleration, training programmes, and global technical mentorship) that the company has implemented over the last 10 years, 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 in Africa. Combined, these groups reach over 200,000 community members in 40 of the 48 countries in the Sub-Saharan African region.
“Africa Developer Ecosystem Report 2021” is the second in a series of studies on the state of the continent’s Internet economy. The first, published in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), found that Africa’s Internet economy has the potential to reach 5.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025, contributing nearly $180 billion to Africa’s economy. The projected potential contribution could reach $712 billion by 2050.”
“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,” adds Gajria.