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Andela Launches Pan-African Technology Hub In Kigali for Software Developers Across the Continent

Andela, the company building high-performing engineering teams with Africa’s most talented software developers, has announced the launch of a pan-African technology hub in its fourth African market: Kigali, Rwanda.

To fuel the expansion, Andela is partnering with the Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Development Board, an organization responsible for transforming the country into a dynamic global hub for business, investment and innovation.

A model of technological excellence on the African continent, Kigali was chosen as a strategic location for Andela‘s first pan-African hub due to its strong existing infrastructure and ease of access for developers across the continent. Through the partnership, RDB will support Andela’s efforts to build a pan-African workforce and support the development of Rwandan and other African talent. This will catalyze Andela’s mission to invest in Africa’s most promising talent and build the continent’s future technology leaders, adding to the 700+ Andela developers based in the company’s existing locations in Lagos, Nairobi and Kampala.

“We are thrilled to have found a partner in the Government of Rwanda whose mission is so closely aligned with our own: to grow and sustain a pan-African elite tech workforce. In Kigali, we have found a location that makes travel to-and-from other African countries seamless and also has the modern and connected infrastructure we require to collaborate with a global workforce,” says Andela co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson.

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Andela launched operations in Nigeria in 2014 to help global companies overcome the severe shortage of skilled software developers and invest in Africa’s top technical minds. Since then, the company has hired and developed more than 700 software engineers across the continent who collectively help power the technology teams of more than 150 global companies, including Viacom, Pluralsight and GitHub, while setting new standards for engineering culture. In 2018, Andela earned Best Place to Work awards for both its Lagos and Nairobi offices in recognition of its company-wide focus on diversity and inclusion, stellar office culture, dynamic working environment, and opportunities for career advancement.

Seni Sulyman, Andela VP, Global Operations, adds: “As the first fully 4G African city, Kigali continues to push towards ICT excellence and is fast becoming one of East Africa’s key tech hubs. Connecting talent with opportunity on a global scale is Andela’s ethos, and with the opening of our Kigali hub, we expect to extend opportunities to thousands more software engineers from across the continent who will make their mark on the global tech scene via Kigali.”

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Through Andela’s distributed model of work, developers gain global experience with the world’s top technology firms while working remotely from an Andela campus. This enables them to actively contribute to the growth of their local tech ecosystems by leading developer groups, mentoring junior technologists, and serving as an example of how local developers can compete on a global level.

Clare Akamanzi, RDB Chief Executive Officer noted, “We are delighted to partner with Andela to build the next generation of technology leaders who will lead innovation in Kigali and beyond. Through partnerships, such as the one we are announcing today, we are accelerating Kigali’s growth as a global technology hub while also advancing skills development and employment opportunities for young, talented Africans.”

Andela will open applications to candidates from any African country looking to jumpstart a global career in software development in August of 2018, and launch its Kigali tech campus in December of 2018. It will also open applications for the Andela Learning Community (ALC), which provides free resources and mentorship to aspiring technologists, in Rwanda and Tanzania in August of 2018. 

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HR Tech Startup, CodeLn, to Represent Ghana in Regional Stage of the Seedstars World Competition 2020

The 94 local winners of the Seedstars World Competition (SSW) 2020 have been announced  and HR Tech startup CodeLn is set to represent Ghana in the next round of the competition. From the Africa region, 25 startups are set to compete for a spot at the Global Finale, where the grand prize is $500K in funding. For more information about the competition, visit the Seedstars website

“During this unusual year for everyone, I am proud to say that we managed to identify the most promising startups in 94 emerging markets. The online format of the competition allowed us to dream and go bigger as we reached a larger audience and invited more startups from all the cities of each country to apply. Now, we can’t wait for our local winners to represent their countries in the webisodes of the regional stage of the competition. I’d like to invite everyone to follow their journey and root for their favorite startup from the different corners of the world,” shares Eugenia Shevchenko, Lead of the Seedstars World Competition 2020.

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Seedstars, the Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, annually holds the Seedstars World Competition to continuously scout for the most promising startups around the Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions. This year, 94 ecosystems were included in the online open call for applications. From there, 1,200 startups participated in the Online Seedstars Academy, a training program for entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth and receive mentorship from industry experts around the world.

The next phase of the competition takes the local winners to the regional stage. From the regionals, 10 startups will receive USD 50K in growth program investment as well as the chance to compete at the Grand Finale for a shot at the Global Winner prize of USD 500K in equity investment. 

For the Africa region, there are 25 startups moving on to the next stage. This year, the SSW20 local winner of Ghana is HR Tech CodeLn, a startup which helps companies swiftly hire verified African Programmers. As a local winner, CodeLn is set to compete alongside the other local winners in the Africa region. And only one will emerge as the regional winner moving on to the Grand Finale.

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Seedstars Africa Regional Manager Lorraine Davis shares, “It has been inspiring seeing entrepreneurs from across the region soldier on through the pandemic and continue to work hard on their solutions. We have met incredible entrepreneurs and are excited to see them competing at the regional stage for a chance to be at the Seedstars Grande Finale in 2021. We wish all the local winners the best of luck for the regional stage competition.”

The regional stage of the competition will include a 1 month long Investment Readiness Program, modernized and personalized program helping startups get investment ready. It will consist of: action-driven webinars on key business metrics; online office hours, where startups can discuss challenges they are facing; domain groups and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions; investor meetings for potential funding opportunities; and peer-to-peer learning and networking sessions.

Online episodes for the regional stage of the competition will be aired at the end of January 2021. Viewers will get to see each local winner pitch in front of the juries and learn more about each of the teams’ startup stories. At the end of each episode, the regional winners moving on to the Global Finale in March 2021 will be announced.
To follow the competition, you may visit the Seedstars World Competition 2020 page here: https://seedsta.rs/2HrNglF

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