African technology sector job losses

The global technology sector has been shedding jobs at an alarming rate over the past few months. The numbers from the big tech companies have been huge. Amazon has laid off 18,000 employees, but that is a fraction of its 1.5 million staff. Most of these big companies don’t have a large presence in Africa and most of the layoffs have been in Europe and North America. What has the impact been in Africa? 

Company# of layoffs % of workforce
Google 120006%
Meta 1100013%
Coinbase 95020%

Of course, data is hard to find. has collected all the press releases and news articles into one table and sorted it by country. The table below shows some of the job losses for the biggest economies in Africa. These are lay-offs for African technology companies and don’t include big tech like Meta or Google. We don’t know what % of the workforce this represents, but it’s clear that Africa is not exempt from the general trend. 

Country# of layoffs
Nigeria 491
South Africa 2014

There is some good news, however. In terms of quarterly funding raised by start-ups, Africa is the only continent that shows year-on-year growth. All other continents showed dramatic declines. So the tech sector in Africa still has high growth potential and presumably this will result in higher employment. 

Other news from around Africa 

  • Ghana: The Ministry of Finance in Ghana claims that MTN owes around R13 billion (USD 760 million) in back taxes. The Ministry based its calculations on a 3rd party audit of MTN’s call records and data recharges. MTN disputes this methodology and says that it was officially withdrawn by the government in 2021.
  • Vodafone exits Ghana: Still in Ghana, Vodafone has disposed of its assets to Telecel.
  • Starlink in Kenya: The service will launch in Q2 of this year. No details yet on pricing. 
  • Taxation in Malawi: The ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) is calling for government to reduce taxation in the sector. Inflation is running at 25.4% as of December 2022 and retail prices have increased significantly.