West Africa : in-demand Top Management positions in the digital sector

Posted by Fed Africa in Career advice
Posted at 23/11/2022
West Africa : in-demand Top Management positions in the digital sector
Although digital transformation is not a recent phenomenon in Africa, the Covid-19 crisis acted as an accelerator on the continent, which now has more than 400 digital hubs in 93 cities, 130 of them having opened in the last two years. 

Amid this excitement, several East African countries have stood out for their investment strategies in new information and communication technologies. For example, Rwanda has placed ICT at the heart of its 2018-2024 strategic plan under the slogan "Towards a digital economy" and signed an agreement with Google to boost its digital transformation in November 2021.

Kenya's new president, William Ruto, plans to make the country a global technology powerhouse. South of Nairobi, the Konza Technopolis digital hub, a veritable African Silicon Valley, is home to 250 start-ups, incubators and universities, and hosts many digital giants such as Google, Intel, IBM, Samsung, Nokia and Microsoft. Tanzania, where about 42% of the population subscribed to a mobile service in 2018, has also made the digital economy a priority in its 2022/23 budget. Finally, Uganda is home to several start-up accelerators and incubators active in future sectors such as health, mobility, agritech and fintech.

The digital sector therefore appears more than ever as a lever for development in East Africa, which will allow the creation of many jobs. Here is an overview of the most in-demand digital jobs in the region.

Financial technology experts (fintech)

About 70% of Kenyan households use Safaricom's M-Pesa system to make payments. In Rwanda, the use of digital payments in commerce has increased from 3% of GDP in 2011 to almost 27% in 2017, with a target of 80% by 2024. Against this backdrop, financial technology companies in the region are in demand for highly skilled labour. The sector offers a multitude of exciting career opportunities. Financial or business analysts, product managers, compliance experts, cybersecurity analysts and quantitative analysts are particularly in demand.

E-governance specialists

Several East African countries have launched e-governance efforts in recent years, enabling them to maintain essential public services at the height of the health crisis. For example, in Rwanda, an e-service portal called "Irembo" allows millions of people to access public services, such as renewing their identity cards or driving licences. In Kenya, the eCitizen portal is seeing an increase in the use of its services, such as civil registration and vehicle registration, and taxpayers are being encouraged to file their tax returns online.

Countries in the region are looking for specialists to support these initiatives. The e-governance specialist contributes to the implementation, coordination, and monitoring of e-governance initiatives. They are usually people with a degree in information technology, business administration, or engineering and with solid experience in the field of information and communication technologies. It should be noted that beyond the public sector, private companies hired by local governments are also looking for qualified experts.

e-Commerce executives

Combined with the booming deployment of communications networks, mainly mobile, online commerce in Africa could grow from $16.5 billion in 2017 to nearly $41 billion by 2025. East Africa is not to be outdone, with the success of major players such as Alibaba or Jumia.

Commercial profiles are therefore in high demand, especially digital project managers. They orchestrate everything that has to do with the web in a company and are responsible for guiding the teams to ensure that the Internet pages function properly, as well as Key Account Managers (KAMs), who oversee the portfolio of clients considered as "major accounts" and strategic entities for the functioning of a company.

Developers and web designers

At a more technical level, we find developers and web designers, key players in the digital sector. The web developer creates applications, software, and computer programs to meet the needs of his or her company or clients. They are in charge of designing websites and maintaining them and making them evolve when necessary.  The web designer is responsible for the layout of a site's content and for designing its visual identity.