Andela, the Pan-African tech accelerator firm, has just announced that it is letting go as many as 420 junior engineers across its operations in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. A press statement seen by Nairametrics noted that this is in line with the company’s restructuring of its talent pool in a bid to meet growing market demands.
More of the details: According to Andela, 250 junior engineers from its Nigerian and Ugandan offices have already been let go, while another 170 would most likely be laid off from its Kenyan office soon.
Following this development, Andela said it is working in partnership with Nigeria’s Co-Creation Hub, Kenya IHub, and Uganda’s Innovation Village towards ensuring that the sacked workers are connected “with opportunities in their local ecosystem”.
So far, there are about sixty companies that have been identified who are willing the hire the laid-off tech talents, according to Andela. It is expected that the placements will work out in order to lessen the economic impact this development could have potentially had on the affected staffers.
Why the layoffs? While reacting to this development, Andela’s Co-founder and current Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Johnson, said customers’ demands informed the decision to layoff the staffers. He specifically stated that Andela’s customers are in need of more highly-skilled and highly-experienced (senior) tech professionals instead of junior engineers. In view of this, therefore, Andela plans to hire and equip some 700 senior tech professionals by next year, in a bid to meet customers’ demands.
“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.”
In the meantime, Andela has claimed that its customers have nothing to worry about because this announcement will not adversely affect their operations. It has also expressed commitment to keep supporting the Andela Learning Community.
Andela, which was founded in 2014, has garnered global media attention and attracted a lot of investments; including a $181 million VC from investors that include the Chan Zuckerberg initiative. Besides its offices in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, the company also has offices in New York, Egypt, Rwanda.