Significant Advances in Africa’s Fintech Industry Creates Raft of New Jobs for Skilled Contractors
- Africa’s growing tech and financial services sectors are unlocking hundreds of jobs for specialist contractors
- Huge investment in African fintech is underway to safeguard the future of the continent’s economy
- Start-ups are mostly likely to utilise contractors as they avoid initial risks of having permanent employees
A lack of access to formal financial services in Africa is hindering its chances of true economic stability and is undermining attempts to reduce poverty and boost growth. As it stands, only 20 per cent of Africans have any form of bank account, compared to between 80 and 90 per cent in the UK.
However, Africa’s growing technology community, coupled with a realisation that improving its financial services sector will safeguard the future of its economy, is seeing a surge in the number of ‘fintech’ companies starting up across the continent.
Fintech uses technology to make financial services more efficient. The technology ‘disrupts’ traditional financial services and can be found making waves through sectors such as mobile payments, money transfers, loans and fundraising. As more than 80 per cent of Africans have mobile phones, there is a clear argument for investing in the industry to give them increased access to their finances.
In fact, as more and more African countries realise the potential of fintech, investment in the industry is likely to soar, thus creating jobs for skilled financial services professionals who can help companies develop new technologies and launch products into the market. Across the continent, we are already seeing a huge increase in requests for app developers, data analysts and ‘mobile wallet’ framework developers to help the fintech market grow further.
Whilst it’s not the norm, we’re predicting it will be African start-ups that are more likely to take on contractors to support them; fintech is a competitive and risky business, so they may be less willing to take on permanent members of staff in the first instance. However, they also recognise the need for an experienced workforce to help make their ideas a reality, so naturally they see the existing financial services sector as one of the main sources of talent.
We’ve identified five of the most sought after skills finance professionals will need if they are considering a move into the African fintech market:
- Technology know-how – having the right technology skills, as well as an understanding of the financial services sector, will help fintech contractors stand out from the crowd. Knowledge of Java, C#, Murex and Python will be an added bonus for employers.
- Problem solving –this is a fairly new market, especially in Africa, so contractors will need to solve problems they haven’t come across before. They’ll also need to have creative flair to turn problems into solutions.
- Innovating –the market is likely to evolve very quickly, so contractors will need to find innovative ways of evolving with it and importantly, staying ahead of the curve.
- Analysing data – it’s a prerequisite that financial services contractors will be good with numbers, but it’s even more important for those entering the fintech market. Large amounts of ‘big data’ will need analysing, whether it’s looking at the users of a new system or the rationale behind the systems themselves.
- Project management – project management skills lend themselves very well to contractors, so if a financial services contractor has previous management experience, these skills can be easily transferred to the fintech market.
Financial services and technology contractors interested in working on fintech projects in Africa should click below to apply to become a Procorre Consultant.