VENTURES AFRICA – The reality of unemployment in Africa is one of the many challenges the continent faces. The growing rate of the unemployed, particularly those between the ages of 18 to 35 years, is very high. But, beyond the alarming statistics, different efforts are being made by government leaders and other stakeholders to tackle the issue and reverse the negative impact. Individuals are also working to curb the unemployment challenge- one of such is Mambe Churchill’s Njorku.
Njorku, which means giant elephant or creature, is Africa’s first job search engine founded by Mambe Churchill Nanje. He plans to take the continent by storm to help Africans have better access to jobs, as well as giving career advice, and help companies manage their human capital.
Although Njorku was launched a year ago, it already has some 500,000 unique visitors served. It was named on Forbe’s list as one of the top African Start ups.
In this Interview with Chika Uwazie, Mambe gives us a closer insight on Njorku and what he is planning for the future:
Why is there a need for Njorku?
Mambe: Like every other sector in Africa, the Human Resource sector is not well developed or even if its well developed there is always room for improvements. With over 40 to 60 million skilled unemployed Africans looking for career opportunities with limited tools and solutions for them, Njorku’s team that is made up of young African entrepreneurs and professionals from diverse backgrounds see all these issues and is trying to provide solutions for the average African unemployed youth and more.
What separates Njorku from other job boards in Africa?
Mambe: Njorku per say is not a job board, Njorku is a search engine. What makes Njorku stand out is the technology advancement it brings into the whole sector. At Njorku, we strive to make the life of the job seeker and employer easier by creating automated tools that will help them do what will otherwise be very strenous for them. So the fact that we rely on developing highly targeted technologies and innovation makes us stand out from the other job boards in Africa. More to that we help job seekers find jobs on all job boards in Africa which means we are more of a search tool than a job board in itself. Its like asking what seperates Google from every other website.
How will Njorku change the technology industry in Africa ?
Mambe: Njorku is made up of a team of dynamic and experienced African software developers, HR and business experts. We strive in building 100% highly targeted technologies and solutions that will help the African job seeker and employers over time. We are constantly researching, developing and introducing new solutions on a periodic basis coupled with our diverse backgrounds we understand clearly that such solutions are alive which means they have to be on constant development.
Who are the other founders of your company?
Mambe: Njorku is founded by Myself along with Bertrand Kima who is based in Maryland (USA). We also have two co-founders Gontran Segue and Ebot Blaise.
Is this your first time starting up a technology company?
Mambe: No, this is not my first time starting a technology company but this is the first time I am taking such a bold step to solve a problem at a very large scale. I have grown AfroVisioN Group www.afrovisiongroup.com from 2006 to present and it’s a profitable venture but it deals more with consulting with over 10 employees and partners around the world. This also helped me a lot while setting up Njorku. But consulting cannot scale the way projects like Njorku, which are automated scale up.
Do you plan in the future for Njorku to spread to other countries?
Mambe: Yes we have plans to cover Africa. Right now we have deployed our crawlers and machines to serve 7 African countries, which means we still have 45 more countries to cover.
What services does Njorku offer Africans?
Mambe: We offer the following services:
1- Job search engine: Where candidates can simply type keywords and search and we find jobs that match their keywords across Africa or within a given location.
2- Email and SMS alerts: Where Job seekers can setup alerts to their email or phone for jobs in a given location matching some given keywords all 100% free.
3- Candidate profiles: where candidates can create a profile with their resume and employers can find them. this helps even the candidates that don’t know how to use computers as we can create it for them and thy get contacted on their phone and land a job.
4- Employer platform: where employers or recruiters can setup an account, search and find candidates that match their job criteria by using keywords.
5- Career Advice: we have a blog and a forum where candidates can get up to date information on career best practices from our experts and consultants along with from their peers.
6- HR and technology consultancy: Our team of experts also work with governments, top companies and recruiters to develop and deploy large scale and highly targeted HR solutions across Africa.
Have you dealt with any hardships while running Njorku?
Mambe: Yes of course- raising funds from Africa is not an easy task. Servers cost a lot of money, development time cost a lot of money and all that with limited cash you can only guess the stress involved. Sleepless nights, burn out and unstoppable brain work overnight can only get you burned out which is one of the things I am trying to deal with right now.
What is in the future for Njorku ?
Mambe: Njorku’s future is to serve millions of Africans in their career goals and thousands of employers as they grow their businesses.
What inspires you to build a great product?
Mambe: I personally think God sent me to earth for a purpose and I think using computer software solutions to help millions of people will only make my purpose on earth even more fulfilling hence my inspiration to building great products.
For more info, please visit: www.njorku.com
Follow on Twitter: @njorku_jobs