After launching its hackerspaces earlier this year in Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain and Morocco, the Tunisian startup GOMYCODE, has accelerated its expansion by opening in Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
Through an educational platform forming the next generation of technological and digital profiles and connecting them with the companies that build the world of tomorrow, GOMYCODE aims to become one of the largest tech and digital communities in Africa and the Middle East.
Launched in 2017 by Yahya and Amine Bouhlel, GOMYCODE now has more than 80 talented workers with diverse profiles among its employees and a network of over 100 trainers across the Hackerspaces of Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt, Nigeria and now Ivory Coast.
Based on a blended learning model, between a physical presence within GOMYCODE’s Hackerspaces and online learning, GOMYCODE wants to have a strong impact in terms of talent training and ease its integration to a digitised job market and economy.
It is with this vision, that over the past three years, more than 10,000 students have been trained and have been able to acquire new skills, opening up new professional horizons for them. With more than 100 employment partners across Europe and the Arab region, almost 85 per cent have been hired.
Rethinking education, the GOMYCODE model aims to be the school of the 21st century providing training in web development, video game development, artificial intelligence, data science, design, digital marketing and business intelligence for all.
Ivory Coast: The tech locomotive of French-speaking West Africa countries
By opening in Ivory Coast we are targeting the tech locomotive of French-speaking West Africa countries.
For the seventh consecutive year, Ivory Coast has achieved a growth rate above 7 per cent, according to the 8th report on the economic situation of the country published this year by the World Bank.Ivory Coast is one of the most dynamic economies in sub-Saharan Africa and has more than doubled its gross domestic product (GDP), from $25.4 billion in 2010 to $58.8 billion in 2019.
Moreover, as an emerging market with strong growth, it seemed essential for the country to start developing as a tech locomotive of French-speaking West Africa and inspire its neighbours. In March 2016, the government launched the Digital Youth Foundation, a startup incubator endowed with CFAF500 million, which has already trained some 200 candidates.It is with this in mind, that GOMYCODE intends to establish itself as a promoter of digital training in capital Abidjan, a city that wants to invest in tech and in its youth.
“With the active learning method, as well as a continuous improvement of their autonomous training platform, I am convinced of the relevance of expanding a platform such as GOMYCODE,” explains Théo Durand, country launcher of GOMYCODE Abidjan.
“In addition, the training is intended to be accessible to all, for adolescents from all social backgrounds or adults looking for professional retraining. More than 100 companies trust us today and training is increasingly recognised thanks to the noble and innovative vision provided by its 23-year-old CEO. I am convinced of the capital importance of having access to digital training in a fast-growing country such as the Ivory Coast”.
Nigeria: Home to the most valuable startup ecosystem economy in Africa
Lagos is the most populous city in Africa and home to the continent’s most valuable startup ecosystem economy. It is home to close to 1000 active startups and its founders, including some of the continent’s biggest startups which has over the years, garnered angel investors, venture capitalists, enthusiasts and media from all over the world.
Lagos continues to rise to the forefront of advanced technological innovations and development made possible by the burgeoning online population of internet users possibly brought about by increased public resolve to ensure optimum broadband penetration. The ecosystem’s annual output has created a huge demand for tech talent in the industry and with the growth of remote work practices, more companies are beginning to look towards Lagos as a hub for talent.
“In the last decade I've had the opportunity to witness youth come in through our doors broken and frustrated, some haven't had a decent meal in days. However, in six months we've seen the same youth become self-sustained and create jobs for others. GOMYCODE showed a much more effective way to achieve this; mobilising Africa's number one resource (the youth) to acquire skills and begin a successful career. I'm truly excited about what we are going to achieve with GOMYCODE Lagos, more so the number of jobs that will be created in the process,” announced Enogieru Osasenaga, country launcher of GOMYCODE Nigeria.
Senegal: the new youth Eldorado
Located in the westernmost part of Africa, Senegal is one of the most stable countries today. Having recorded one of the strongest economic growth in Africa, still above 6 per cent between 2014 and 2018, the country is today positioned as one of the largest technological and financial hubs in West Africa.
This economic positioning attracts young people and offers significant potential in the training and education sector. In addition, when we know that there are more than 400,000 open positions in Africa in digital professions, that nearly 42 per cent of current professions will be impacted by this massive digitisation, and that 61 per cent of the Senegalese population is less than 25 years old, so there is no better challenge than the one we are launching ourselves with GOMYCODE by trying to give the weapons to this youth to make digital Africa shine tomorrow.
“After many trips and more than three years spent in Tunisia, I had the opportunity to move to Senegal. I thus joined GOMYCODE in its expansion phase to build the new digital training hub in Dakar. This tremendous opportunity allows me to leave the aeronautics industry where I took my first classes, to return with an over-motivated team and a solid structure in the training of the trades of tomorrow. Thanks to a new unique training model in active learning, much more suitable and efficient than the passive learning of the 20th century, GOMYCODE can offer openness and accessibility to the international world of tech to young people eager for success in one of the most promising countries in Africa West,” said Vincent Leconte, country launcher of the startup in Senegal.
Helping youth facing a changing world
Earlier this year GOMYCODE announced the raising of $850,000 to continue its expansion.
In addition to Tunis, Sousse and Sfax, new Hackerspaces have opened in Algiers (Algeria), Casablanca (Morocco), Manama (Bahrain), and Cairo (Egypt). New Hackerspaces have also opened in Tunisia (El Menzah V, Nabeul, Gafsa, Gabès, Béja and Tunis Downtown).
GOMYCODE also aims to develop its presence on the African and Middle Eastern market, where 42 per cent of professions are strongly impacted by digitisation and where 65 per cent of the workforce do not have the necessary skills in this field.
There are also 400,000 job openings in the digital industry in Africa and the Middle East.
By 2030, the African Venture & Startup Funding Report 2018 estimates that the number of young people in Africa will increase by 42 per cent. This will represent a market for young talent, most of whom are unfamiliar with digital developments. This market concerns 1.2 billion people, of whom 700 million are under the age of 25.
“We continue to deliver on our vision of providing high level digital education with a unique learning experience that leaves lasting impressions and have a positive impact on people's lives. We will invest massively in our technology, our team and strengthen our operations,” announced Yahya Boulel, CEO of GOMYCODE.