Nigeria technology talent accelerator, Ydev Academy has over the past decade emerged as the get to go for digital innovation, with the avowed mission to address developmental challenges in Africa with the use of technology.
Africa has in most cases been overlooked by global tech houses when it comes to harnessing tech talent and it is on the aegis of this that Ydev academy, not oblivious of the constraints inherent in discovering tech minds on the continent began the training of students and professionals who desire to transition into the tech industry in a variety of skills, and in the process link successful graduates of the training to job opportunities at local and international tech companies.
With global tech talent scarcity on the increase, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its estimate, averred that by 2030, there will be a shortage of over 85 million tech workers globally, pitching African developers in high demand, while further fuelling the growth of several talent accelerators on the continent.
Ydev, a brain child of Bernard Okobiemen (O’Bien), a veteran software engineer, and IT entrepreneur Wilson Diamond began operation in 2019 and has helped various organizations and corporate entities train, retrain and upskill their employees, while providing companies support when bringing on board new staffs.
The platform in the next five years, aims to “transform up to 100,000 young adults” on the continent.
O’Bien, one of the founders told TechCabal in an interview:
“We are aware of the high demand for tech talents in today’s world and deeply concerned about the lack of candidates to fill these roles. This has made us build a strong curriculum delivered by expert-level instructors and provide world-class education facilities and placement support for our students.”
The Ydev’s brand believes positive partnership are central to its plan to realizing its vision as it has partnered with IBM, Google, and Microsoft and 13 other global technology giants.
“Our best graduating students receive strategic placements within our partner organisations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America,” O’Bien said. “We ensure that no talent is lost.”
Image credit: TechCabal
Ydev most recent collaboration was with American enterprise software company, Salesforce, where the Nigerian company is expected to train and certify 4,000 Africa-based developers in Salesforce technologies as well as connect them with global opportunities. Ydev has earlier in the year trained over 2,000 people across five countries in the continent for Microsoft Africa.
“At Ydev, we know there are many pathways into the technology industry and into our partner organisations,” explained O’Bien. “We’re constantly looking for new ways to create unconventional entry points for talent outside the traditional academic paths.” One of these entry points is the Salesforce Developer Certification, which is based on Salesforce’s Trailhead learning platform and Ydev’s training course.
Infusing an African solution to a global problem
O’Bien in his description of the partnership sees it as “an exciting opportunity” for tech enthusiasts across Africa and this would be evident as Salesforce is the largest player in the cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) space and saw a 30% boom in global demand in 2020.
“It will forge new pathways to tech careers in Africa and help bridge the gap between skills demand and supply,” he said. But why are global tech giants increasingly looking to Africa to solve the tech talent shortage?
There is a prediction of Africa having the world’s largest and youngest workforce and coincidentally, it is currently home to some of the fastest-growing internet economies in the world.
“The potential is here,” O’Bien said. “Africans are more than capable and you see quite a number of tech companies setting up engineering teams in Nigeria and Africa at large.”