In some African countries, half of all youth between the ages of 15 and 34 are unemployed. Even those who have jobs are often underemployed and do not earn much. In Lagos, Nigeria, for example, more than 11 million youths are unemployed, many of them bright young people without a path into the formal economy.
“Brilliance is evenly distributed but opportunity is not,” is the founding principle of Andela, an early-stage education company with a lofty ambition of transforming education and job training in sub-Saharan Africa. This company recruits talented young people and trains them to become professional software developers through a New Economy Skills Training curriculum.
Selected candidates are admitted to a four-year software developer training program which starts with an intensive three-to-six-month training, followed by an actual job placement where they work remotely with a technology company that partners with Andela, such as Microsoft and Google. The job placement includes guaranteed salary and healthcare benefits, and the fellows continue to receive training and professional development.
Andela currently employs 160 people between Kenya and Nigeria, and nearly 20 percent of them are females. By 2019, the company targets to increase the number of employees more than tenfold, and ultimately train 100,000 software developers across Africa in 10 years.
IFC is supporting Andela through a fund we established with Learn Capital Venture Partners III L.P. This early-stage venture fund is focused on expanding access, quality, relevance, and efficiency of education through innovative companies in emerging markets. This makes it possible for IFC to reach smaller companies at an earlier stage of development than an IFC's typical investee client.
Andela was founded by Jeremy Johnson, an EdTech entrepreneur and co-founder of 2U, Nigerian entrepreneur Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Christina Sass, and Ian Carnevale in June 2014. Since then, it has been helping students acquire current software engineering technologies and soft skills training such as leadership, teamwork, integrative thinking, and personal effectiveness. Andela also offers lifelong learning and retraining.
Published: December, 2015
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