Nigeria-based talent accelerator Andela has chosen nine candidates to join its first programme in Kenya, with the selected candidates already in training and to be market ready by the end of the year.
Launched in Nigeria last year, Andela identifies talented young Africans and trains them to become top developers for global firms.
Disrupt Africa reported in April Andela called for applications from Kenya, Ghana and South Africa, with a view to deciding on the best location to start its pan-African expansion. In June, Andela announced it had chosen Kenya as its first place for expansion, having received over 1,200 applications.
25 applicants were invited to a bootcamp, and out of this pool, nine successful candidates have been selected to join the first Kenyan cohort.
Andela said the cohort began training at the end of July, and will be client-ready by the end of 2015.
“We did considerable research on the levels of innovation, entrepreneurship, math and science scores, and youth unemployment rates before selecting Kenya as Andela’s second country of operation. We’re confident that Kenya’s strong rankings in these categories, as well as a culture of valuing technological innovation as evidenced by products and services such as M-PESA, will set up Andela for success in Kenya,” said Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Andela.
“The current training in Kenya is very similar to the program in Lagos, Nigeria, with small tweaks for country-specific context. The primary focuses are on ensuring technical excellence, dynamic soft skills, and core curriculum focused on ensuring fellows have the skills in greatest demand by Andela’s prospective clients,” he said.
Andela claims to be the most exclusive training programme on the African continent, with an only one per cent acceptance rate.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to tap into world-class talent from both sides of the continent. Operating in multiple countries enables Andela to truly source the brightest minds on the continent,” Johnson said.
For now the organisation is focusing on its Nigerian and Kenyan programmes, however, Johnson said Andela does plan to expand to other countries, and Ghana – and a number of other locations – are being considered as potential hosts for the next Andela campus.