Uganda's first Developer Survey Report Released through The Innovation Village, Mastercard Foundation Partnership

A developer at work. The Innovation Village, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has released the findings from a survey to understand and analyze the current state of the developer landscape in Uganda.
1 December 2021
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Mastercard Foundation (Africa)

Kampala, Uganda — Today, The Innovation Village, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has released the findings from a survey to understand and analyze the current state of the developer landscape in Uganda.

The survey, launched in March 2021, sought to understand the number of developers, their demographics, region, gender and age; their engineering journey, coding methods and languages; and levels of education, area of specialization, and experience. A total of 1,288 developers were surveyed, including anyone who builds and creates software and applications. The survey also included software developers, computer programmers, programmers, software coders, and software engineers.

The survey is particularly important as Uganda is experiencing a digital technology evolution. Software development and Innovation Technology (IT) have become influential in affecting how businesses, organizations, and various sectors operate when developing products, improving service delivery, and solving problems affecting consumers.

“The digital space in Uganda is young yet growing fast. Today, digital technology is undoubtedly playing a key role in creating work opportunities for young people by removing geographical barriers. In the roll out of its Young Africa Works in Uganda strategy, the Mastercard Foundation has identified the digital sector amongst its priority sectors in Uganda with the goal of attracting more young people,” said Renita Nabisubi, Digital Economy Lead, Mastercard Foundation.

Speaking about the findings, Wilson Kiggundu the Chief Technology Officer at The Innovation Village said that the survey showed that 73.4 percent of developers in Uganda are under the age of 30 with 79.5 percent living in the central region of the country. “This implies that Uganda’s developer population is young and has the potential to grow. For this to occur, we require the joint efforts of the technology ecosystem, talent pool of developers, and innovation hubs to mentor and train these young developers,” he said.

A group of developers interacting with The Innovation Village Team Lead Japheth Kawanguzi at The Innovation Village in Jinja.

The tech industry remains male-dominated with the results from the report showing that only 23.4 percent of the developers are female. “While the number of females in the tech space remains low, we are moving in the right direction. The Innovation Village has put a lot of effort to encourage females to become developers and to learn coding through the Women in Tech series and the Code Queen program,” added Kiggundu.

While 63.1 percent of developers became coders in a professional capacity after attaining technical skills in computing, information technology, and programming, with the evolving nature of the industry and access to the internet, there are various ways one can learn coding. 29.9% of respondents stated that they learned how to code from online courses. The majority of developers become full-stack developers, which means they are able to do both front-end and back-end development.

Today, with a large pool of online resources, both free and paid, it is possible for anyone interested in embarking on a software engineering journey to start learning. “Other learning avenues for developers in Uganda include boot camps and hackathons. Developer groups also play a role in creating interest and providing a foundation for software engineers.

Developers at The Innovation Village in Kampala

According to Japheth Kawanguzi, Team Lead at The Innovation Village, “With today’s disruptive environment, we can no longer ignore how technology has grown and infiltrated many economies, including ours. We cannot advance without software developers and information technology expertise. Developers offer us more than websites and applications.

Their skills take our businesses to new heights of integration and enable our customers to experience us easily, conveniently, and inclusively. We need to collaborate and work together to recognize this talent pool and support its growth.”

For more information, please contact:

The Innovation Village
Sharon Kakai
Marketing and Communications Lead
Email: skakai@innovationvillage.co.ug

Mastercard Foundation
Eleni Constantine White
Strategy Lead, Program Communications
Email: hwhite@mastercardfdn.org

About The Innovation Village

The Innovation Village is a launchpad for leading entrepreneurs and innovators working to solve our most pressing challenges using technology. We cultivate innovators and entrepreneurs, startups, and enterprises focused on social economic transformation. Our goal is to build Uganda’s innovation ecosystem to be a catalyst for job creation throughout Africa by breaking down barriers and creating a path for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Created in 2016 our work has increasingly focused on the potential for technological innovations to drastically change the development trajectory of Uganda. This work has been particularly focused on supporting the ventures building, youth skills development and employment creation. For more information on The Innovation Village, please visit: https://innovationvillage.co.ug/

A developer ‘s world, what it really looks like. Uganda's first Developer Survey Report released through The Innovation Village, Mastercard Foundation Partnership

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org

About Young Africa Works

Young Africa Works is the Mastercard Foundation’s strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work. Africa will be home to the world’s largest workforce, with 375 million young people entering the job market by 2030. With the right skills, these young people will contribute to Africa's global competitiveness and improve their lives and those of their communities. The Mastercard Foundation will implement Young Africa Works in 10 African countries in collaboration with governments, private sector, entrepreneurs, educators, and young people. The first phase of countries identified by the Mastercard Foundation are Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria.

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