The journey to unleash Africa's tech talent

On this page you can read the story behind Tunga's mission to create jobs for African tech talent. Where do we come from and where do we aim to go...

Our dream is to create equal opportunities for all youths.

This story is about untapping the potential of African tech talent. Being able to take control of and choose your own destiny is a universal value. And it probably is disproportionately so among software developers and startup entrepreneurs like ourselves. Therefore, Tunga was founded by not-for-profit design studio Butterfly Works and long-time social entrepreneur Ernesto Spruyt. Together with his colleague Bart Leijssenaar (CGO) and Michiel Huisman (Board Advisor), Ernesto is not only a tech person, but he also has a background in hospitality management.

To sum it up, Tunga is founded by ‘people-people’. We think that what you make of your life is your own responsibility. But we would like for everyone, especially the youth that holds the world’s future, to be free and able to take control of their own destiny.

In Africa, youths don’t have the same opportunities

But the reality is that in many parts of the world, the opportunity you have to determine your own destiny is limited by circumstances. By factors outside of your own control. In our search for software developers, we ended up on the African continent.

During our visits, through the WeAreBits School Network, we met many young African techies that are as brilliant and skilled as their counterparts from other parts of the world. But who have limited access to interesting, worthwhile and well-paying work.

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Our mission: 21st century jobs for African youths

As a result, in 2015 we embarked on a mission to create 21st century jobs for African youths. With the support of institutions like Dioraphte, Oxfam, the DOEN Foundation, Edukans and Triodos Bank we started Tunga. To help talented African youths get access to the cool tech jobs that define this generation. So that they can become independent and make their mark in the international economic marketplace.

We connect African software developers to international teams and projects

We believe in the power of business to transform society. And probably the most attractive area for creating high skilled jobs and skills development for today’s ambitious youths is software development.
The industry is increasingly adopting production methods from the open source community. Consequently, software is often already being produced in virtual teams. At the same time, there is a huge shortage of software developers around the world. As a result, there is an infinite demand for software development skills.
So we Tunga set up as a platform to remove all barriers for these youths to participate in international software teams and projects.
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IT Staffing with Impact

Tunga is not a traditional IT staffing platform. Our way of working is called Impact Sourcing. To clarify, this entails the deployment of workers from low-employment areas into the processes of businesses worldwide. Either through outsourcing or by setting up remote or virtual teams using digital technology.

It aims to provide higher-income employment and access to new income opportunities to workers that otherwise might not be employed in that particular sector. For instance, people in rural areas or in slums, people without access to education or educated individuals in areas of high unemployment.


Our human-centered approach cuts both ways

Our way of working allows us to do software outsourcing better than traditional players in the market. Users of outsourcing services are generally complaining about 2 things: quality and communication. Tunga works with highly motivated and loyal developers who are eager to learn and understand that meeting client expectations in terms of quality and communication is key.

Moreover, our platform is set-up to help the developers be successful by matching only verified skills. We do this, by using best practice templates in project planning and specifying requirements. And by requiring them to report daily on progress and quality so that any hiccup can be dealt with early on. Consequently, they build experience and client relations. As a result, the African developers on our platform eventually can take charge of their own careers and ultimately their lives. And that’s exactly what we aim for.

Why Africa?

Tunga’s clients come from all over the world, but our developers exclusively come from Africa. At this moment mostly from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Egypt. We started operations in Uganda and that’s also where our own core team is based.

Partly because of the infrastructure, availability of developers and the English language. But also because we can make a huge impact there.
According to the World Bank Uganda has one of the highest youth unemployment rates. Moreover, with 78% of the population being under 30 this is a huge challenge.