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Africa's Professional Developer Hubs

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Anna Fleck

There were 26 thousand more professional developers in Africa in 2021 versus 2020, marking a 3.8 percent year-over-year increase in the region, according to Google’s Africa Developer Ecosystem 2021 report. Much of the sector’s growth is centralized in a few select countries, most notably South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya, which together make up 56 percent of the continent’s professional developers.

South Africa alone has by far the biggest number of professional developers, at more than 120 thousand, which is a 17 percent share of all developers on the continent. Egypt and Nigeria have some 30,000 fewer, with 89,000 per country in 2021 - although, it’s worth noting here that in sheer numbers, Nigeria saw the greatest increase of developers between the two years, with five thousand more devs in 2021 than 2020.

Writer Kofi Yeboah says that one reason for the discrepancy between countries is that “there's a huge intermediate and advanced digital skills deficit on the continent with few relevant training institutions.” This is also illustrated in the Times Higher Education’s latest rankings, where South Africa and Egypt are the two best represented countries for leading universities on the list, with 11 and 23 each.

While most of the countries included in the report saw growth, Uganda and Rwanda saw their numbers fall, by -1 percent and -3 percent, respectively.

The report considers the developer market landscape in the following 16 African countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda.

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