Martin Hecker

Insights from our partner companies

“IT skills are more
in demand than ever!”

Interview with Martin Hecker, Chairman of the Board at Digital Skills Accelerator Africa e.V. (DSAA)

Martin Hecker has been working in IT and digital technology for over 30 years. In addition to his previous position as senior partner with the Boston Consulting Group, he has successfully founded and built several businesses in the digital services sector. Since 2019, he has been Chairman of the Board at Digital Skills Accelerator Africa e.V. (DSAA), a non-profit association of more than 15 companies in the digital services sector that is supported by Invest for Jobs. The DSAA member companies are seeking to either expand their business in Africa or establish a local presence. They have the common goal of inspiring, training and employing talented people in the IT sector in Africa. External IT professionals are increasingly in demand these days – especially in Europe.

1. Why did you choose Invest for Jobs?

Invest for Jobs and DSAA member companies are a very good fit: they share an interest in creating jobs in the digital sector for young Africans in Africa. When we founded DSAA, we were looking for regional know-how and contacts in Africa. Invest for Jobs provided active support and helped us to gain access to our partner countries from the very outset.

2. What form does your collaboration take?

With the financial and technical support of Invest for Jobs, DSAA member companies have successfully established training programmes in several African countries. DSAA also aims to create equal opportunities for women and people with disabilities to participate in the labour market. Invest for Jobs supports the DSAA companies in providing career advice for women, for example, or in organising mentoring events. It also offers DSAA member companies advisory services on inclusive recruitment processes and accessible infrastructure. This involves how training rooms or computer programmes, for instance, can be made accessible for employees with disabilities. Ultimately, everyone should have the same opportunity to embark on a career in the IT industry.

© GIZ / Envision Rwanda

3. What challenges have you and DSAA member companies been able to tackle as a result of support from Invest for Jobs? What barriers to investment have you overcome?

For many companies, the move to Africa is fraught with uncertainty. Thanks to Invest for Jobs, local barriers to investment, such as professionals’ insufficient language and management skills, were reduced. At the same time, the Outsourcing Destination Guides provide businesses with important practical information about the country in question: covering everything from health insurance arrangements to which platforms are available for advertising job vacancies. The networking and exchange of experience between the many companies that have now come together in DSAA gives businesses additional security in implementing their activities.

© Steven Luedtke

4. What have you achieved to date?

With the support of Invest for Jobs, DSAA has now created numerous training opportunities and jobs in Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda and Senegal. Activities in Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt are going to start soon. We are looking to the future with great optimism: together we have also developed far-reaching plans to generate a large number of new jobs over the next few years.

5. Where are the business opportunities for German companies in your sector in Africa?

Europe, especially Germany, has nowhere near the level of digital talent it needs to implement digital transformation in all relevant economic sectors in the near future. The pool of talent in Africa offers a unique opportunity to start tackling this transformation now. The African professionals are in the same time zone as Europe. Their IT skills are in demand now more than ever.

The businesses that founded DSAA grasped the importance of Africa for the digital transformation at an early stage. They have teamed up in this association with the aim of tapping into this pool of talent, while at the same time creating new prospects for local people. In principle, it is relatively easy to create digital jobs because the initial costs are pretty low. The services themselves can be offered both locally and abroad – think outsourcing. This is all very easy to put into action.

6. How can a company join DSAA?

Generally speaking, any interested company can join DSAA provided they have already established their offices in Africa or are planning to expand their business activities to Africa in the near future. Their projects should be connected with IT/digital services or business process outsourcing and should contribute to the overall goal of creating sustainable jobs in Africa.

Interested companies can contact DSAA at, giving a brief outline of their business and describing what they would aim to achieve within DSAA. A phone call will then follow to enable both parties to get to know each other and then the membership application will be reviewed by the DSAA Board. If the objectives are in line with those of DSAA, the membership application will be approved.


DSAA is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the context of Invest for Jobs on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


We are looking forward to hearing from you

Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to work together with companies to create up to 100,000 good jobs and to improve working conditions and social protection in its African partner countries.

Partner countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

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