Sustainably Empowering Africa Through Tech

In 5 years’ time, IT outstaffing start-up, Zwarttech, wants to have contributed to the changing narrative of the African continent. By bridging the gap between Africa and the West through social entrepreneurship, Zwarttech aims to positively influence the lives of 75,000 African people in a sustainable way. The NABC sat down with Adriaan Romijn, the Director of Sales and Marketing, to discuss the start-up’s growing achievements and future vision.

22nd of June 2021 Member Spotlight

With social impact at its core, Zwarttech is composed of 2 sides. The commercial side of the organisation, Zwarttech itself, focuses on outstaffing and outsourcing experienced senior high-level specialists in IT, be it software developers, business analysts, SAP specialists or cybersecurity specialists (technical or non-technical). By connecting African IT specialists to international market opportunities they usually have limited or no access to, Zwarttech outsources their talent remotely to companies in Europe and North America for affordable prices, ensuring a win-win on both sides. 

A noteworthy point is that the specialists remain in their respective countries, preventing brain drain. “The additional impact with that is, when they are employed by Zwarttech, they will get an immediate raise of up to 40% on their salary, which positions many of them in the top earners of their respective countries,” explained Mr Romijn. “All the money they earn will be used and spent within their local economies,” he continued. This enables sustainable growth. 

The other part of Zwarttech is the NGO, the Zwart Talent Foundation. With 2 main focuses, the Zwart Talent Foundation has an academy and an entrepreneurial hub in the making. Set to start teaching in September in Lagos, Nigeria, 40 students will be educated on software development and cybersecurity. According to Mr Romijn, of those 40 students, 70% are female and 30% male to intentionally promote inclusivity in the IT Industry. They will also get trained on how to work in international companies, and once graduated, will get an internship and a guaranteed permanent full-time job. To help with mitigating youth unemployment, this free programme is targeted toward students who cannot afford to go to university. As every physical class can be conducted virtually, the programme partners with 40 students in Burundi and 40 students in Nicaragua who receive the same training with the same female to male ratio acceptance rate. 

This will be further developed with their entrepreneurial hub which aims to give entrepreneurs in Lagos the opportunity to start their businesses in a secured working space, and in addition, get coaching and guidance on business development and entering international markets. 

Overall, when it comes to tech, Africa is not usually top of mind. But as Mr Romijn noted, “Africa is a big sleeping IT giant, that is just awakening”. “Big corporations have invested in the continent and the market is expected to triple more than it currently is,” he explained. Zwarttech has stepped right into the potentials of this growing IT sector, and besides commercial success, the start-up’s vision of empowering Africa and connecting western countries with experienced and talented IT African staff is well on the way. 

Learn more about Zwarttech and their impacts: