Lambda School Africa Pilot

Get a world-class full stack developer education at Lambda School, for free, with support from Paystack, BuyCoins, Cowrywise, CredPal, PiggyVest, Thrive Agric, VertoFX, and Wallets Africa.

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What is the Lambda School Africa Pilot? (Applications Closed)

Lambda School opened applications for the first time to students from Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. This is what they got:

  • An intensive full-time, 9 month full stack software development training program, at no upfront cost
  • Free membership to co-work spaces near them to provide access to reliable electricity and internet during the program
  • A chance to be hired by participating companies after the program
Adult Coding Overlooking City

The Syllabus

Lambda School's Full Stack Web Development course goes deep.

You'll learn to program in several languages (including JavaScript, Python and C), and will learn to understand computing from its most fundamental levels.

What sets Lambda School—whose classes are fully remote—apart from a lot of other coding programs is that students are not expected to pay for the course upfront. They have the option of doing so, but cofounder Austen Allred told VentureBeat that more than 90% of students opted for the income-share agreement.

Hired Lambda School Graduates
Hired Lambda School graduates with their job offers

What is Lambda School?

California-based Lambda School is a 9 month immersive training program that gives you the tools and training you need to launch a new career. The program trains people online to be software engineers at no up-front cost. Instead, students have the option to opt into an Income Share Agreement where they pay a fraction of future income.

The expert curriculum is designed and taught by instructors from Google, Apple, Blizzard, and many more of some of the best technology companies on the planet. In many cases, Lambda instructors literally wrote the textbooks others teach from. And if you get stuck at any point, there's instant, one-on-one help whenever you need it.

Lambda's quality of instruction is matched only by its strong focus on the employability of graduates. 86% of Lambda graduates are hired within 180 days of completing the program, and it's no exaggeration to say that Lambda has quite literally transformed the lives of hundreds of people.

Scene at the first Y Combinator Lagos Meetup, hosted at Paystack HQ
Scene at the first Y Combinator Lagos Meetup, hosted at Paystack HQ

What is Paystack?

Paystack is a technology company powering growth for incredible businesses in Africa.

We help businesses in Africa of all sizes - from startups to government agencies to global brands collect online and offline payments securely, and to provide a modern, delightful payments experience

Paystack processes over 25% of all online transactions in Africa's largest market, powering payments for over 30,000 companies including MTN, Taxify, Betway, and numerous others.

Businesses use Paystack to accept both online and offline payments through payment channels such as ATM cards, mobile money, USSD, QR code, and more. They also rely on Paystack’s powerful APIs for everything from transfers to automated user verification.

Participating companies

The Lambda Africa Pilot is also supported by the following incredible companies

Buycoins Logo Purple


The easiest way to buy and sell cryptocurrency in Africa.

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Chipper Cash

Chipper Cash is a mobile payments platform for Sub-Saharan Africa. Available in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, we make it incredibly easy to send money both across Africa and within each country for absolutely no fees.

Blue Cowrywise Lockup


Cowrywise is a Y Combinator-backed digital wealth management company. With our platforms, we enable young Africans have access to financial planning, automated savings, and high-quality investments.

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A consumer financing company that allows consumers make purchases across online and offline merchants and pay in fixed monthly instalment.

Piggyvest Logo


PiggyVest is an automated savings and investment platform that helps Nigerians better manage their finances by making it clearer and more transparent.

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Seamfix provides solutions that enable organizations to seamlessly capture, onboard, verify and digitize identities of customers and their documents in real time

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Thrive Agric

Thrive Agric provides farmers with finance, data driven advisory, and access to buyers for their produce. Thrive currently works with about 18,000 farmers across 16 states in Nigeria.

Vertofx Logo Transparent


VertoFX is a B2B currency exchange marketplace. We are building the first tech-enabled FX and international payments solutions for emerging market businesses.

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Wallets Africa

We are building an online bank for Africans


Why Paystack x Lambda?

Paystack and Lambda School share a lot in common. We're both alumni of the Y Combinator Accelerator, and we both raised funding from Stripe, the payments giant whose mission is to increase the GDP of the internet.

Most importantly, both Paystack and Lambda School are obsessed with figuring out how to give everyone the tools they need to build their dreams. While Lambda does this by removing barriers to a career-changing education, Paystack does this by providing growth and payments tools to help businesses in Africa scale.

Although we come at it from different directions, we're united in our desire to amplify human potential, and we're excited to join forces to work together to do exactly that.

Start Accepting Payments
Paystack powers ticket sales for Afropolitan Vibes, Lagos' much-loved live music event

Who was the application open to?

This opportunity was open to

  • citizens of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa
  • who're above 18 years old
  • who're currently primarily physically based on the continent of Africa
  • who're able to commit to a full time program

There are reportedly about 1,300 students enrolled [in Lambda School], and the company has raised almost $50 million. The early job placement record is impressive; 86 percent of graduates have jobs within 180 days of finishing the program.

Student Testimonials

What's the Lambda School experience like? Hear from current and former students.

10 months ago I gave myself 1 year to learn programming and get a job.. Tomorrow is my first day of work..."life changing" is an understatement.

Katy Hollobaugh
Katy Hollobaugh
Graduate, Lambda School

The best thing about Lambda is they have all the resources you need including high quality teachers...they teach you how to find the answers yourself.

Joram Clervius
Joram Clervius
Graduate, Lambda School

6 months into the program and can't believe the things I'm developing! I've learned more than I did in college. And I have a BS in Computer Science!

Student, Lambda School
Y Combinator Lagos

Watch the replay of the live Q&A

We did a live Q&A about the Lambda School Africa Pilot where we answered a lot of questions about the program.

Register to get the webinar link.

Common Questions

Is the application still open?

No, applications are closed, and we're no longer accepting applications.

What're the eligibility requirements?

This opportunity is open to 1/ citizens of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa 2/ above 18 years old 3/ who're currently primarily physically based on the continent of Africa.

What's the admissions process like, and how long will it take me to find out if I've been accepted?

After you submit your application, you'll receive a few self-directed prompts and challenges you'll need to complete. Since the challenges are self-directed, the entire length of the process will depend on how quickly you complete them, but most students who complete everything quickly will have a decision within a week.

If I'm accepted, how much time should I expect to spend on Lambda School? Can I do the program part time?

Lamdba School is an immersive full time program - attendance is required 5 days a week, 9 hours a day, for 9 months. The program cannot be taken part-time.

What is the Lambda Income Share Agreement (ISA) for African students?

As an African Lambda School student, you only pay the ISA if you're making over $15,000 a year (or the equivalent in your local currency). If you don't find a job, or don't reach that level of income, you'll never pay a cent. If you do meet the minimum requirement, you'll pay 10% of your income over the course of 5 years. At the end of the program, you'll have the opportunity to be interviewed for a role at the participating companies. If you choose to join Paystack, CredPal, or Thrive Agric after the program, those companies will pay the ISA on your behalf, so it won't come out of your salary. It's important to note that you're most definitely not required to work for any of the participating companies after graduation. You'll be able to take any job offer you want. So, to repeat: if you join Paystack, CredPal, or Thrive Agric after graduation, those companies will cover your ISA, but you can also choose to join any company of your choice, in which case Lambda's very favourable repayment terms apply: 10% of your salary over 5 years, when you earn $15k+/year.