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The Average Pay For an African Startup CEO is US$30,000

Compesation Study Africa - Founder360

Compesation & Salary

The Average Pay For an African Startup CEO is US$30,000

Timon Capital, a venture capital firm based in Nigeria and Briter Bridges a data-driven research firm focused on emerging markets have released a report on the salaries and compensation across African startups.

While most of the information in regards to fundraising for startups and technology companies in Africa is widely available, any other financial data is usually non-existent within the public domain due to various sensitivities.

The recently released study which aims to promote transparency about compensation and more inclusive data was conducted across four African countries namely Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana with 48 companies involved.

The report takes a look at compensation levels for various team members across the C-Level executives, engineers and sales associate; digging at their education level and gender distribution across the startups. 

Read: African Startups Invited to Apply for the US$22,000 Prize AFD Digital Challenge

Here are some of the key take ways from the report:

  • Out of the 1,079 founders of 788 startups surveyed, only 20% have female co-founders. Kenya leads with 25%. Something else to note is that 
  • The median compensation for a startup CEO in Africa is US$30,000 which applies across all the C- Level executives. South Africa CEOs are the best paid attracting an average of US$125,000. 
  • While 41 per cent of CEOs have a salary below US$20,000, 25 per cent have total compensation of US$60,000.
  • The median compensation for a senior engineer is US$22,000, double what a junior engineer attracts. Despite attracting large amounts of funding from tech investors this year, Nigeria is the least lucrative for software engineers among the three most advanced tech ecosystems in Africa, i.e. Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. The median compensation for a senior engineer is US$15,000 in Nigeria. 
  • A majority of startup CEOs in Africa are first degree holders with most having schooled outside the continent. 

While the availability of data intercepted from such a study in Africa is still burgeoning, the current report provides a way forward in promoting clarity and enhancing of better compensation within the ecosystem. 

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