The Africa Talent Project: Innovative Approach to Placing Global Talent

A conversation with Ade Akin-Aina, CHRP, Founder of the Africa Talent Project, and Talent Lead at Wave Mobile Money

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About the episode

Today’s guest Ade Akin-Aina, a global talent acquisition leader who was recognized on the Financial Times’ list of top 100 black and minority ethnic leaders in technology, founded the Africa Talent Project in 2016, when she saw the need to help place leaders in fast-growing businesses in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the tech space.

The Africa Talent Project places professionals who live in sub-Saharan Africa with companies either in other African countries or in the countries they already live. Increasingly, Ade is also placing talent from sub-Saharan Africa with companies in Europe and North America — while the reverse has also begun to trend: Professionals in Europe or North America, looking to make global impact, are reaching out to Ade and accepting roles at startups across Africa.

“There are so many inspiring companies tackling challenges that are unique to Africa and have a great impact in healthcare, edtech or fintech,” says Ade, who by day serves as the Talent Lead for French-speaking markets at the fintech unicorn Wave Mobile Money. “And then you pair that with the tech industry’s really narrow definition of available talent. Everyone’s so focused on who’s in their backyard. And they’re overlooking a massive population that doesn’t sit in New York or San Francisco that’s more accessible right now.”

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