Africave is an organization that cultivates IT talent in Africa and provides global companies with access to a high-skilled talent pool.

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  • Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.

Initiative's representative name

Kennedy Ekezie-Joseph

Initiative's representative date of birth

11 June 1998

Initiative’s representative gender

  • Man

Where are you making a difference?

Johannesburg, South Africa

Website or social media url(s)

When was your organisation founded?


Focus areas

  • Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
  • Financial skills and capability
  • Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

Project Stage

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?

  • $50k - $100k

Organisation Type

  • For-profit

2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?

There is a huge shortage of software engineers globally, and companies are turning to untapped pockets of talent to fulfill demand. Africave is a company for global companies to hire full-time engineering teams from Africa. We solve two primary pain points: (1) high costs and more importantly, headaches of long-drawn full-time hiring cycles, and (2) lack of dedicated focus and assured quality through outsourcing and a distributed team model

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We solve these pain points by creating a new engagement model for the modern workforce whereby our AI-enabled platform converts your English-like descriptors of business objectives or goals scientifically into work modules and skillsets that will be matched within our own curated pool of mid-senior software engineers, who are full-time members of Africave. We are building a lean, efficient and scalable optimizable supply chain solution to counteract fragmentation and build consolidation.

4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?

We fundamentally believe that the current high levels of disengagement cannot be solved by constant job-hopping; the true solution lies in matching the 'work' with the 'worker'. On average, companies spend up to 50% of the first-year salary to hire a single engineer. 28% of hires churn due to skillset misalignment, costing the company a lot more in opportunity costs. These costs show are still issues in their hiring process. Our unique technology innovation creates an affordable service to recruit, upskill and connect bright candidates to global job opportunities. We employ machine learning to match candidates in our pool to opportunities, to guarantee engagement success. Thus far, we have a 98% match success.

5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?

Our sourcing model is known as Impact sourcing: the deployment of workers from low-employment areas into the processes of businesses worldwide either through outsourcing or by setting up remote or virtual teams using digital technology. We are accelerating socio-economic prosperity by providing young people with highly-demanded technical skills (software engineering, machine learning and data science), and integrating young Africans into the global economy Armed with skills that are highly paid for, they optimize their future financial health and stay secure. We are also prioritizing recruiting, upskilling and staffing female mid-senior software engineers. Our vision is to see our female engineering talent fill the global shortage of digital talent, while closing the gap that so deeply exists in the global technology industry.

5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress

We are providing training in software development, machine learning, and data science. By 2030, 80% of all new jobs created will require those skills. Progress will be measured using the following indicators: 1. Number of fellows trained & placed in jobs 2. Number of hours of learning fellows undergo 3. Quality & level of engagement of mentors 4. The gross percentage increase in income for fellows at the end of 2020 5. The average Net Promoter Score (NPS) index gauging satisfaction in the programme. In the long term, we will measure success by our growth, scale and sustainability

7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Andela, Moringa School and Lambda School are all competitors. However, our model provides a lean, affordable and scalable approach to consolidating the supply side, and scaling supply of digital talent in a way that many players currently don’t. Simply, our business model enables us to be lean and affordable. Our placement costs are eradicated because we automate that process of finding talent. We are developing the science to match talent to opportunities to guarantee engagement success. Thus, we don’t incur the overhead costs that mostly come with this process.

8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have received 1.6K applications to our early pilot fellowships designed to build key relationships on the demand and supply side. We have trained and placed 20 fellows and now focused on building our product & service offerings while simultaneously deriving insights from our talent and potential customers We will complete training and placing of 100- 150+ engineers by April 2020. We currently have 5 customers in the pipeline and are focused now on training, raising capital and product development. We are partnered with SAP: one of the world’s leading technology companies who have provided us a team of their top talent to support our initial lift-off, in addition to mentorship and access to knowledge resources.

9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

We will charge a placement fee per talent which constitues 30% of their annual salary in the first year. This fee will offset our the training costs, and push our margins up, thus we will stay profitable.

10. Team

As CEO, Kennedy drives the overall strategy and operations of Africave and leads the team. He's worked at ByteDance, Accenture, BCG and has been awarded by Queen Elizabeth. Valentine (CTO) brings deep intellectual rigor to our work coupled with outrageous entrepreneurial ambition gained from 10years of working as a software engineer Duke (COO) is an alumnus of KPMG & CitiBank Our advisors are Oprah Winfrey's fmr Chief of Staff, a Partner at Deloitte and the VP @ African Leadership Group

Help Us Support Diversity! Are you a member of an under-served , under-represented, or marginalized group in your country of residence? (yes/no) (this question is optional – if you choose to fill it out, the response will not be shared with your fellow contestants)

  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Ethnic group
  • Age
  • Socioeconomic class
  • Status as a migrant
  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

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