Africa relies on many foreign service providers, who enter the market and begin to squash the potential competition around them. Uber attempted to do this, but as we saw, there entrance disrupted the market, and competition, such as Little began to also grab market share. With a wealth of human capital, Africa has the resources to be self sufficient and create the innovations and technology of the future, not only for Africa, but the world. The problem comes with the education and training of potential workforce to bring them up to standard. Human capacity needs building.
Khonology also believe in the potential of African’s to service Africa and are hell bent on changing the standards of graduates before they enter the work place. They place a particular importance on Fintech; trying to better understand it so that it may be more useful to the “man on the street”. With their talent academy, they look to up skill people, empowering the youth to make them active participants and bridge the gap between academia and the work place. Adding value to the businesses that are served by the workforce and businesses that serve the work force.
Another company that is trying to make a change to business practices within Africa is Andela. It is likely you have heard of Andela them through Mark Zuckerberg’s trip to Nigeria and Kenya, or the fact that co-founder, Iyinoluwa ‘E’ Aboyeji, who has left the company to found Flutterwave. Andela is founded on the belief that brilliance is evenly distributed around the world but opportunity isn’t. Africa has a huge amount of unlocked human capacity and Andela are positioning themselves to unlock it in the IT development sphere.
Their platform gathers the most driven and brightest developers across Africa using data science to optimise the application process. Only 0.7% of 40,000 were chosen, to be a part of the Andela network. They then take these developers and integrate them directly into the teams of companies such as IBM and Microsoft. This is another example of how African companies can themselves drag Africa up towards the so called “developed” nations. The talent is equable to anywhere else on the planet, and as Africa is the youngest continent, the quantity of talent will also be the biggest. If you need tech talent, Andela may be the place to go to! And they expect to have trained 100,000 new developers in the next decade.
Building capacity is needed at all levels of society. It is not just those that are university educated that need to be prepared. Farmers, nurses, plumbers, electricians and many others all need opportunities to improve their skills and create a better life for themselves. The two above examples are wonderful solutions, but there need to be more capacity building schemes for individuals and organisations that are the foundation of the continent.
If anyone knows of any other schemes that build capacity and create opportunities in Africa, please contact us so we can feature them. Tweet us at @InventiveAfrica and please also share the blog onTwitter and Facebook.