Collaboration to drive global jobs into African communities

Propel co-founders

Propel co founders (from left): Seun Owolabi, Sunkanmi Ola and Agoi Abel.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Compared to Africa, Europe, has a very different population dynamic.
  • Official data shows that in Europe the majority of the population is above 50 years.

African communities will now be able to access more work opportunities abroad following a collaboration between two firms

The collaborative effort is between Propel, an organisation that gives companies structured access to top tech talent from its ecosystem of tech communities across the world, and Stepstone Group, Europe's largest job board.

The collaboration will see the organisations work together in harnessing the untapped human capital potential in Africa, to meet the growing demand for labour in Europe.

“We want people to be able to live and work from anywhere and for whomever. The more global jobs we drive into communities, the more revenue communities are able to generate for themselves,” said Sunkami Ola, the co-founder of Propel.

The firm has been working with communities across 22 African countries, connecting their members with jobs, financial services, access to loans and a host of other opportunities. 

Labour market

Working with communities has enabled them to provide companies abroad with access to some of the best talent from some of the most remote parts of the continent.

“A community knows who is who, so all we have to do is to tap into the community and the community can provide the right people. It has taken us quite a number of steps to achieve this on a continental scale, in an efficient manner,” said Seun Owolabi, co-founder of Propel. 
Seun said that working with different communities from across Africa has also granted them invaluable insights into the labour market dynamics in the continent.

“Our findings show that Kenyan workers, for instance, are highly preferred by companies abroad because they are very calm and well skilled. You go to other African markets and you will find people that are still very well skilled, but perhaps they move around too much,” noted Owolabi.

Compared to Africa, Europe, has a very different population dynamic. While in Africa there has been a significant increase in the number of young people, official data shows that in Europe the majority of the population is above 50 years.

Top-tier tech talent

“In about 10 years, the third of Germany for instance will be in retirement age. Companies like Stepstone are looking at where are the new sources of talent, and how can we participate in these ecosystems responsibly and much more sustainably,” said Stepstone Group CEO Sebastian Dettmers, during his visit to Kenya.

The CEO, who was accompanied by the German ambassador to Kenya Sebastian Groth, said leveraging on Propel’s extensive data on talent’s technical capacity, psychometric analysis, work preferences and growth potential will enable them to access top-tier tech talent in a more efficient, responsible and sustainable manner.

On his part, German envoy Sebastian Groth commended Propel for the work they have been doing, noting that with 250,000 skilled labourers needed every year in a country such as Germany, the discussion on how to facilitate the movement of skilled labour to Europe is key.

He said the German government is in discussions with the Kenyan government on how to set up a structure that will facilitate the selection and integration of Kenyans for the German labour market.

“In terms of quality of human capital, Kenya ranks among the top three countries in Africa. A bilateral task force has been set up to see how we can work with organisations such as Propel that already have a presence here to access the much-needed local talent,” said Groth.