Safaricom Scoops Up 400 Developers in Kenya to Stave Off Competition

Safaricom, Kenya’s top telecom group, has reportedly hired 400 software developers in 2022 to keep up with the demand for digital talent as other digital business competitors set up shop in the country.

According to Business Daily, the new hires are 6.4 percent of Safaricom’s 6,230 permanent, temporary, and contracted employees at the end of last year.

The mobile operator’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa, said that the company is expanding its technical staff as it is gravitating toward offering a wide range of IT-linked services including an e-commerce platform on the M-Pesa Super app, loans, wealth management, and savings and insurance. The African mobile giant says it wants to transform from a connectivity business to a technology business.

“The technology side of the business is becoming bigger, the fintech side is becoming bigger we need people with skill so we have increased developers. We hired 400 new developers,” Ndegwa said, quoted by Business Daily.

“When I came in people were saying you know agile is going to reduce numbers. Actually, we have increased numbers. We have more than doubled the M-Pesa team but mostly bringing in people with a technology background, the developers, and putting them to the agile side under squads and tribes,” Ndegwa added.

Currently, Safaricom relies on in-house talent and a network of over 42,000 independent developers who help Lipa na M-Pesa merchants set up their business, Ndegwa said.

“We want to develop an ecosystem that allows that developer community to be vibrant. In fact we will be announcing soon that we are going to be partnering with other tech companies and universities to influence curriculum, certification of developers, and also internships so that we also develop talent for the industry in the same way lawyers and accountants are developed,” he explained.

By Zintle Nkohla 

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