According to the latest State of the Octoverse report by Github, developers from Africa created 40% more open source repositories on the developer marketplace this year than last – a higher percentage growth than any other continent.
Morrocco surprisingly leads for the most growth in the continent among African countries with established developer communities (defined by GitHub as having more than 10,000 contributors to the platform).
This was followed closely by the four “tech and startup giants of Africa” namely Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa consecutively.
Africa’s smaller communities (defined by GitHub as having less than 10,000 contributors to the platform) saw even faster growth in 2019, particularly in Mayotte and Guinea-Bissau. Somalia which opened its first tech hub in 2017 had a growth of 162 per cent among the smaller communities in Africa.
The report reflects the true depiction on the growth of the tech ecosystem in Africa as more players are investing money and resources in the continent. Microsoft, in particular, is investing over US$100 million in establishing development centres in Lagos and Nairobi where they will employ 100 full-time African developers who will work across artificial intelligence, machine learning and mixed reality innovation. And they expect to grow their pool to 500 developers by 2023.
The surge has also been catalyzed by an organization like Moringa School who have been instrumental in training developers using a comprehensive curriculum and an outcome-driven program. Unlike Andela which contracts its engineers to companies in the U.S, Moringa places its graduates across numerous companies in Africa.
Read: Andela Launches in Egypt, Hiring Only Senior Engineers
While there’s undoubtedly growth of software developers across the continent, there are other players in the ecosystem, who think that is not yet enough to support the growing needs in the ecosystems. Sacha Poignonnec, the CEO of Jumia who during an interview on CNBC Africa after the Jumia IPO made shocking comments when he alluded that Africa still lacks enough developers thus informing the decision for Jumia hiring them from Portugal.
This can be conflicted with the recent happenings of Andela which solves the global technical talent shortage by building distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software developers when it announced that it is laying off 400 of its junior engineers in Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.
Nevertheless, Africa is breeding a larger number of developers who will need to be absorbed in their local ecosystems.