• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria lags SA, Egypt for software developers

91D6662F-6A70-4693-BA5B-95B4DA7F928B

Nigeria is behind South Africa and Egypt in sourcing software development talent in Africa, according to a report by Tunga, a talent platform for software developers on the continent.

According to the report on the key insights in Africa’s software development sector, there are an estimated 690,000 professional software programmers in Africa. Over half of these are from South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria, making the list of the top 17 software development countries in Africa.

“The top-17 countries, in terms of the absolute number of developers, represent more than 90 percent of the entire African IT talent pool,” the report said.

South Africa emerged as the country with the highest African software developers’ talent sourcing with 133,195, with Egypt taking second place (125,270) and Nigeria following with 114,536 software developers.

Other countries include Kenya (58,866), Morocco (49,818), Tunisia (45,247), Ghana (20,551), Algeria (20,530), Uganda (13,113), and Ethiopia (8,316).

Read also: Is Nigeria’s Financial System Strategy 2020 still a dream

Senegal (8,113), Tanzania ( 8,065), Cameroon (7,748), Mauritius (6,879), Zimbabwe (6,588), Rwanda (6,412), and Ivory Coast (5,165) are also on the list.

These figures, according to the talent platform, is a cross-referenced data from LinkedIn, Github, and a recent IFC report on the African internet economy.

However, the demand for African computer software developers skyrocketed in 2021 due to the global economic crisis, and of course, Covid-19 also played a role, a Google report reveals.

Findings by Google revealed that four out of every 10 African software developers now work for at least one company based outside of the continent, while five work for local start-ups.

It said: “African startups are responsible for hiring more than half of local developers, with foreign companies outside the continent hiring 38 percent of the remaining talent.

“This competition seems to have had a positive effect on salaries and other forms of compensation.”

The Tunga report found that the demand for developers reflected on the cost of salaries per month in African countries with a more mature IT sector.

It said: “Nigeria, Egypt, and Tunisia, although have low salaries with large talents, are known as the giants of Africa, while countries like Ghana, Algeria, and Uganda seem to have a lot of untapped potentials.

“The development price range is quite affordable compared to US and European rates because the African region is just starting to enter the software development market. However, the range will also change due to the industry’s quick growth.”

According to the e-ConomyAfrica 2020 report, Africa’s IT market is expected to grow to $180 billion by 2025, or 5.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.