Zimbabwe doesn’t have enough software development talent. Judging from the feedback we have received on this, that statement isn’t as controversial as you might think. It’s a fact.
It’s the same truth that gave birth to a cause that local tech hub, Muzinda Hub has been following with a lot of resources and time and resources poured into it. Earlier this year, we mentioned how Muzinda Hub had turned itself into an academy of sorts with a digital skills and entrepreneurship program that was launched in the second half of 2014.
Now, the hub is helping some of the participants of the program use their skills. Muzinda Hub recently started offering digital services and the services of programmers. These are part fo the 1,000 developers that the hub has trained through its 6-month program which is facilitated through Treehouse and some assistance from Ubuntu Equity and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) alumni.
Relevance to Zimbabwe
According to Tendai Mashingaidze, team lead at Muzinda Hub, all of this is part of an effort to focus on what is relevant to Zimbabwe as the country has a very low iGDP (internet Gross Domestic Product, which is used to measure the internet contribution to national GDP)
Local businesses are not doing enough to get online and expand their potential markets, something that has to be spearheaded by developers. Muzinda Hub hopes that its contribution will bring this closer to reality.
So what can Muzinda deliver?
Remember the army of 1,000 developers that Muzinda has been equipping? According to Mashingaidze, this is the team that will pick up the work that Muzinda secures. Mashingaidze had this to say;
All our graduates are contracted to Muzinda Hub and will be doing jobs sourced by Muzinda Hub. We are developing arguably the biggest database of developers in Africa as we position ourselves to serve the continent to close a $5 billion digital skills gap. The hourly rates for our developers depend on experience and job scope. There is also an option to hire a developer on a full-time basis.
We, therefore, have two main products, being Digital Services and Programmer Placement. Under digital services we offer web production, app production, social media management, big data and other custom made solutions. We also offer web hosting in partnership with ZOL.
Under programmer placement, we place programmers with organisations on a full-time basis over varying periods of time. Our programmers are proficient across 13 programming languages with 30% of these being app based languages such as android and iOS.
This adds an interesting perspective to the local developer market. If this does work out, Muzinda could effectively create a pool of developers that could help some of the problems that some local startups have failed to effectively solve.
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