Launched in 2009, The Chan Zuckerberg Initaitve has a simple mission statement: advance human potential and promote equality. On June 17th, 2016, Marc Zuckerberg announced that Andela, a two year old tech company based in Nigeria, would be the recipient of 24 million dollars in funding.
Move aside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, because Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg are paving the way for entrepreneurs around the world. Indeed, Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to put 99% of his Facebook shares to philanthropic use. One such example was this recent funding of Andela, a tech company geared at preparing young and highly skilled recent graduates for life in global tech companies such as Google, IBM and Microsoft, to name a few.
Andela's goal, led by its Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson, is to gather graduates with either a computer science or an engineering background. According to CNN, Andela is the “startup that’s harder to get into than Harvard”. Indeed, only 0.7% of applicants are finally accepted into the program offered by Andela. For the lucky few that do get in, they will embark on a four year journey that will hopefully lead them to their dream job. The first six months are aimed at giving fellows a “crash course in programming skills”. The last three and a half years serve as a time for students to take up an internship in American and local IT companies allowing them to use the skills they gained to provide a better future for Africa. Students are payed a decent salary, a little above average local wages.
According to Mark Zuckerberg: “Companies get access to great developers and developers in Africa get the opportunity to use their skills and support their communities.” A worrying trend in the IT industry is the shortage of developers and more specifically software developers. This would explain why more and more tech companies are hiring their employees from Eastern Europe and India. The time has now come for Africa to display its skills.