Despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the African continent’s developer ecosystem is on the rise, findings of a study conducted across 16 Sub-Saharan African countries have revealed.
Technology giant, Google, Monday launched the Africa Developer Ecosystem Report 2021, which is the outcome of a study conducted through fielded and analysed surveys of software developers, as well as interviews with local experts.
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Africa Developer Ecosystem Report 2021 is the second in a series of studies on the state of the continent’s internet economy.
The first, which was published in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), found that Africa’s internet economy had the potential to reach 5.2 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025, contributing nearly $180bn to Africa’s economy.
The projected potential contribution could reach $712bn by 2050.
According to the 2021 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.
This, according to the report, 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.
Also, despite a contracting economy, the pool of professional developers increased by 3.8 per cent to make up 0.4 per cent of the continent’s non-agricultural workforce, while salaries and compensations rose as more developers secured full-time jobs.
The report further revealed that with increased (+22 per cent) use of the Internet among Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) on the continent, the need for web development services also increased alongside higher demand for remote development work as 38 per cent of African developers work for at least one company based outside of the continent.
Also, venture capital investment in African start-ups rebounded as the digital economy expanded. As revealed in the report, African start-ups raised over $4bn in 2021, which was 2.5 times more than in 2020, with fintech start-ups making up over half of the funding.
The Managing Director of Google in Africa, Nitin Gajria, who spoke during the virtual launch of the report, said while Africa’s technology innovation sector was making great strides, global tech companies, educators and governments could do more to ensure that the industry became a strategic economic pillar.
Gajria, who disclosed plans by Google to train 100,000 developers across the continent by 2022, said, to date, the African continent was home to more than 150 active Google Developer Groups and 100 Developer Student Clubs.