Why Nigeria’s Tech Sector Is Having Hard Time Keeping Its Best Software Engineers
Nigeria’s latest brain drain is happening in its tech industry.
It follows a decade of triumphs for the ecosystem which has recorded several startup and tech hub launches and attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. The promise of the ecosystem has also proven a significant enough pull for global tech titans like Mark Zuckerberg. But many of the software engineers who have been central to that steady growth are increasingly looking outward.
Like most economic migrants, much of the growing departure by software engineers is linked to quality of life and earning power. A 2017 Startup Genome report showed that while Lagos is the most valuable of Africa’s biggest tech ecosystems, it is also the least lucrative for software engineers.Indeed, compared to their counterparts in Johannesburg and Cape Town, software engineers in Lagos earn around $5,000 less annually. That shortfall is likely causing many to seek higher-paying opportunities elsewhere. While there’s no solid data on the outward trend of software engineers in Nigeria, industry insiders suggest it’s significant. Prosper Otemuyiwa, a former technical trainer at Andela, the Mark Zuckerberg-backed startup that trains and pairs software developers with global tech firms, says he’s seen more software engineers leave in the past year than ever before. And Obinna Ukwuani, founder of NESA by Makers, a skills accelerator that offers software engineering training programs, says the “constant churn out” of local talent is happening at “at an alarming rate.” Ukwuani says the accelerator has lost three of its best training staff in recent months.
Read more at Quartz.