Lots of people in the world are trapped in poverty because they cannot afford quality education. At the same time, many companies are struggling to find skilled people to hire and to build diverse teams. 

In South Africa, this is especially true for the tech industry. According to Nyari, while South Africa is an 80% black country, tech is 90% white. And while women make up 51% of the population, tech is 90% male.

Trying to create value with software for everybody, with only a fringe of that community represented is problematic.

An estimated 20 million people (out of a 55 million population) are aged 19-25 in South Africa, with 60% of those youths being unemployed. Why, one might ask, with so many young people out of work, is there still a lack of skill in tech? 

Nyari explained that companies hiring for software development are traditionally looking to hire someone with a university degree. However, structural barriers are preventing a lot of people in South Africa from accessing education. Only 6 out of 100 people end up with a university degree. 

That means we have an industry that is taking over everything in society – education systems, health care, farming, planning, logistics, transport, there’s software in everything that you do – but trying to do it using only 6% of the entire population.

The software development academy WeThinkCode_ is determined to change that by giving smart people who didn’t make it to university another shot. They are doing this by finding talent with the right attributes, offering quality training for free, and persuading the industry to look beyond universities. 

Watch Nyari’s presentation to hear the full story of how WeThinkCode_ is unlocking the innovative capacity of the next generation of geeks. And to get some inspiration on how to find talented people outside of the traditional recruitment channels.

Investing in the Next Generation of Tech Talent – Nyari Samushonga at myConf 2023.

Virtual machines that don’t hate you – Erik Corry at myConf 2023

Read more about the talk at myconf.io: Speaker announcement: Nyaru Samushonga.