Andela – the Nigerian-based innovative software training company which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has invested $24-million in and that already operates in Nigeria and Kenya – is opening its third African headquarters in Uganda.

The company was launched in 2014 to solve the shortage of high quality talent on the continent. Co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson said, “Three years ago we started Andela to build a network of top software developers across the African continent and bridge the divide between the US and African tech sectors. To say the least, it’s been a crazy run – 60,000 applicants later, we’ve shown a few people that engineers can look a little different.” The CEO added, “Andela is trying to solve two separate, giant, complicated problems at the same time. In Africa, we’re working to increase the technical capacity of the ecosystems we operate in while also unlocking human potential at scale. One of the hardest parts of building a robust tech ecosystem is getting a critical mass of talented developers in one place. Andela is solving that.”

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Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said at the time, “Things are moving from a resource-based economy and it’s shifting to entrepreneurial, knowledge-based economy. It’s not only shaping the country but the whole continent.” Zuckerberg also visited Kenya, which he praised as the “world leader” in mobile money.

Andela group are jubilant to receive US government award for the World Best Small Medium-Sized Enterprise Company. Photo twitter.com-Andela

The move into Uganda seeks to expand the access of Andela developers, as the organization wants to discover and develop Kampala’s most talented programmers and innovators into the next generation of technology leaders. Uganda was a natural choice having so much potential as the second youngest country in the world with 70% of its population below the age of 25.

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On choosing Uganda as Andela’s third African market, Jeremy Johnson said, “The response we have received from the technology community in Uganda over the past year has been overwhelming and has made it clear why Uganda is a natural step on our path to unlocking the potential of thousands of world-class developers across the continent.”

On March 2, the first round of recruitment was reeled out, which attracted over 800 applicants and so far, 8 developers have been accepted into the Andela Uganda fellowship. Operations have commenced in the fellowship and applications for the second Uganda cohort are currently open.