“Even if I don’t have an iPhone, I can still have a world market for my work.”

Wilfred Mworia, a 22 year-old student in Nairobi and winner of Samasource’s Facebook Developer Challenge in April, discussed Kenya’s growing technology community in a New York Times article over the weekend. The piece covers Google’s activities in Kenya and highlights Skunkworks, a local community of software developers:

The distinctive digital experience in Nairobi inspires confidence in its youthful community of programmers, bloggers and Web enthusiasts. Over the past year, about 600 people in Nairobi — most under 25 — have coalesced into a group called Skunk Works, sharing ideas and encouraging new businesses. In June, it held an all-day workshop that included sessions on using the Android phone operating system from Google, developing applications for digital maps and creating content for mobile phones.

The idea that Nairobi-based talent can fuel the demand for software engineers in more developed markets is a powerful one. And there’s plenty of evidence that groups of coders are forming around the continent– on Facebook, hundreds of people have joined groups like Ghana Coders, Ghana Software Developers, and the Nigerian Association of Computer Science Students. We’ve even been in touch with a Rwandan software development shop called Kigali Coders, making waves on Rentacoder.

Flat worlders take note: as the cost of bandwidth declines over the next decade, the people who write the code that powers some of our favorite applications may well be from Africa.


Filed under Africa, outsourcing, Technology

2 responses to ““Even if I don’t have an iPhone, I can still have a world market for my work.”

  1. Pingback: Samasource Developer Featured in NY Times « samasource

  2. Yup Africa will be next big thing in terms of technology. Now Africa has been supported by the European Commission under FP6 and FP7, IST-Africa (Regional Impact of Information Society Technologies in Africa) is a multi-stakeholder Initiative focused on, t raining to reduce the Digital Divide, skills Transfer to support research capacity building & awareness, community building to support EU-African Research Cooperation. Well you don’t need top caliber gadgets to be competitive, all you need is skills! 

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