Market movers

Amazon’s Aggressive Charm Offensive On Nigerian Tech Talent Ruffles Local Firms

By  |  July 5, 2022

Global tech giant, Amazon, is stepping up a recent effort targeted at establishing its presence and influence in Nigeria, which boasts what is commonly regarded as Africa’s most vibrant tech ecosystem at present - attracting up to 35 percent of funding for African startups last year.

Amazon’s latest charm offensive is focused on engineering talent in Nigeria who are not only being wooed by the prospect of joining one of the world’s most admired companies but also the possibility of moving abroad to pastures considered greener.

The tech giant announced in a LinkedIn post put up last week that “the Amazon International Events team is hosting an interviewing event in Lagos for Software Developer II candidates who are open to relocating to Canada, Ireland and the United States, to work in Amazon’s Consumer division.”

This implies Andy Jassy-led Amazon is looking to hire intermediate-level developers in Nigeria, which comes off as quite shrewd given the struggles in landing scarce senior talent on the continent at this time and Nigeria’s budding reputation as a hub for a significant amount of ingenious, prodigious engineering talent seeking a bit of a come-up. Interested candidates have been encouraged to apply for the role to be invited to the Amazon event scheduled for the first week of August.

While the offer looks to be true to the company's typically aggressive patterns of play, sources familiar with the company have termed it unusual given that the company rarely relocates below senior-level talent as it can hire locally.

Unless, of course, Amazon anticipates it would likely struggle to land mid-level engineers in the West given its aversion to remote work (a stance that is unpopular among devs in developed markets). It would seem Amazon is betting on relocating willing workers with solid engineering talent from lower-cost regions, which could prove a sound strategy for companies that prefer to stick to in-office operations going forward.

This development comes just weeks after reports surfaced of a possible launch of Amazon’s e-commerce operations in Nigeria come 2023; a hiring drive for an Amazon Web Services (AWS) team based in the country’s commercial nerve, Lagos; and a marketing splurge to win over Prime Video subscribers in Nigeria.

Put together, it signals a heightening interest from one of Big Tech’s main characters in a prime piece of Africa’s exciting tech real estate.

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