Kenyans most affected as Andela sacks over 400 staff in Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya

Andela, the firm founded in mid 2014 to build distributed engineering teams with Africa’s talented software engineers, the company has announced that it’s set to sack approximately 250 junior engineers and staff from its Nigeria and Uganda hubs and another 170 from Kenya.

The announcement comes as Andela looks to restructure its talent pool to more closely align with global market demand. Andela stated that it is now working with all impacted and potentially impacted employees and is committed to providing a holistic professional and financial support package.

(TOP: Andela offices in Nairobi, Kenya).

In addition, the company is partnering with CcHUB (Nigeria), iHub (Kenya), and Innovation Village (Uganda) to help connect impacted developers with opportunities in their local ecosystems. Together, they have identified over 60 companies who are looking to hire top quality junior engineering talent. These hubs will also offer impacted engineers the opportunity to use their co-working spaces free of charge for the next three months.

In a blog post, Jeremy Johnson, the Andela co-founder and CEO stated: “As the talent world has evolved, we have as well, and over the past few years it’s become increasingly clear that the world needs what Andela provides: high-quality engineering-as-a-service. It has also become clear, however, that the majority of the demand is for more experienced talent, and to keep up with it, we need to grow our senior talent base even faster.

“This shift in demand also means that we now have more junior talent than we are able to place. This is a challenge for the business, and for these junior engineers who want, and deserve, authentic work experiences that we are not able to provide.”

As a result of that, the CEO noted, Andela began sourced for and brought on board mid-level and senior engineers who now now represent more than 25% of the firm’s staff.

This is a departure from the past where Andela viewed its talent supply as being primarily junior with some mid-level and senior engineers.

Going forward, Andela is to shift its approach and focus on senior engineers, who will work together with the junior talent, with the shift shift in focus expected to allow the company to better align with “what the market needs, and in the process better connect brilliance with opportunity at all levels.”

The changes will also see Andela closing down its D0 training program in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda and move the entire training program to its pan-African hub in Rwanda.

Beyond this restructure, Andela continues to grow rapidly with plans to hire an additional 700 experienced engineers by the end of 2020. Today’s announcement will not affect Andela customers’ operations, as the company evolves to deliver even stronger engineering support for their teams.

Janet Maingi, Andela Kenya Country Director says, “Andela is a community as much as we are a business and, as such, our immediate priority is to provide support to those potentially affected by today’s news and the means for them to find stability. Change in an organization is not easy, but almost always inevitable to maintain performance and growth. We believe our most recent change in strategy positions us to be a stronger engineering organisation.”

Moving forward, the company will continue to invest in the Andela Learning Community (ALC), which has already introduced over 30,000 learners from across the continent to software engineering. Over the next three years, the company expects over 100,000 engineers from across the continent to take advantage of  programs within the community.

Johnson concludes, “Five years ago, we launched Andela to solve a global challenge: Brilliance is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. To succeed in our long-term mission, we have to make tough decisions to continue growing a company that we know will change the way the world thinks about talent.”

Since its founding, Andela has hired more than 1,500 software engineers, within its engineering centres in Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala, and Kigali. The firm has a growing presence in Cairo and Accra, and offices in New York, San Francisco, and Austin, Texas. The firm’s investors include Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital.


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