The startup that’s harder to get into than Harvard

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Johnson Ejezie was initially daunted by the prospect of moving to Lagos from his home town in Nigeria’s south-east.

The polio he contracted at a young age left him with lasting health problems, so he felt vulnerable living in a city where he didn’t have any family or friends to lean on.

But what pulled the 26-year-old to Nigeria’s bustling metropolis was stronger than his fears — an invitation to take part in a bootcamp for Andela, a startup which pays young Nigerians to train as programmers and work for international companies.

Andela acts as talent accelerator, scouting for smart and ambitious Nigerians with the potential to work as top-level developers for foreign firms. The ones who pass the rigorous selection process are paid what the company calls an upper middle class Nigerian wage while training. Successful alumni have been placed with for Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft as well as up-and-coming start-ups, all while being based in Nigeria.

Plight for programmers

The idea is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs, American Jeremy Johnson, who made the Forbes’ 30 under 30 list last year, and Nigerian Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, selected as one of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers in 2012.

Read more at CNN Africa 

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