African mobile app job market

Posted on November 23, 2017 12:13 am

Africa’s tech jobs market is booming, with the rate of growth for tech jobs outpacing other industries according to a new report. The report measured the creation of core app economy jobs, defined as jobs that directly to develop, maintain, or support mobile applications. In addition, the statistics also measured indirect jobs that support app developers in fields such as human resources or management. When these two categories of jobs are combined in ten African countries namely South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius and Ethiopia, the report found the mobile app sector employs 50,000 staff on average in those countries. The highest number of jobs was in South Africa, followed by Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco.This growth rate has meant the overall number of people employed in computer related jobs in Africa has surged by 56% since Android smartphones were first introduced in 2008. This is a significantly faster growth rate than even in developed world which averages 20%.The development of mobile apps now directly or indirectly accounts for nearly 10% of all ICT jobs in Africa. However, it is a rate higher than either Europe or North America. Likewise, while the number of mobile app development jobs as a percentage of all ICT jobs in Cape Town is 9% and Cairo 7%, both are not as high as it is in Silicon Valley at 18% but are on the same range with New York which averages 10% and London at 9.5%.One of the report authors told your blogger that Africa’s app development is well positioned for future growth.The major take-away is that Africa has a good start on the digital economy, especially when viewed from the perspective of mobile apps. As this sector continues to expand, this opens up new opportunities for African businesses to become an exporter of apps and app-related services, especially given the current international importance of English-language markets which gives countries like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa a bigger advantage over their North and West African counterparts.However, the author warns there are also important lessons in the figures for African countries government policymakers.In his own words, it is important for policymakers to strike the right balance between essential and excessive regulation, especially in areas such as data privacy.However, a general principle is that the tighter the regulations, the more obstacles in the path of the growth of the rapidly innovating app economy.The same report notes app related recruitment market is set to see a severe shortage of software development talent as nearly all industries speed up their efforts in launching mobile applications to serve their clients. This is one key finding from the report which also analyses trends of the job market in the continent.

Candidates skillful in iOS and Android development are a rare asset in Africa and the strong demand for experienced professionals won’t be met in the near future.Companies are aware of the rising popularity of mobile applications and have started to explore mobile technologies, driving demand for developers in the candidate-short market. This trend will continue for a certain period of time if the data contained in the report is accurate. Findings also state that qualified mobile developers in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya prefer to work as freelancers such that they can rake in more income by taking several projects at the same time. Information technology professionals are highly sought after due to the fast expansion of IT industry in Africa. There is an increasing demand for IT security professionals and those who are quicker to learn new technologies always stand out because mobile apps business is thriving in African market. There’s no doubt accessing mobile applications is becoming increasingly popular for Africans, with 100 million people aged 18 years and over going online via their mobile in 2016 alone. The report also reveals that in June 2017, 37 per cent of mobile phone users had a smartphone and 52 per cent had a 3G phone. And of the smartphone users, 87 per cent downloaded a mobile app in the six months to June 2017. The report analyses four mobile applications services mobile handset VoIP, m-commerce, mobile video and mobile social networking and their potential impact in terms of substitution-mobile apps can potentially substitute for some services provided by mobile service providers. Mobile apps are disrupting industry structures and processes in many sectors beyond communications for example, m-commerce in East African region. Expansion mobile apps are allowing online services, previously restricted to computer access, to move onto the mobile platform. Multiple screens-mobile apps that incorporate video are an example of mobiles becoming the third screen complementing television and computer. According to the report, the number of Africans using the internet through their mobile phone for specific tasks during June 2017 included accessing social networking sites, banking and bill payment, streamed video or movies, streamed audio content and purchasing a good or service.Continued consumer adoption of smartphones and growth in the usage of internet via mobile phones, are encouraging further development and use of mobile apps in Africa hence the reason for companies looking for high-skilled developers who are in short supply with competition for qualified talent becoming cut-throat.

Contador Harrison