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Top Seven Countries for Outsourcing in Sub-Saharan Africa

By: Elena Kimaru

Companies can turn to outsourcing to connect with new pools of talent while reducing overhead costs. By delegating specific tasks to outside experts, businesses can focus their efforts on developing and perfecting their core offerings while saving money for the company. 

The benefits of outsourcing to Africa are not widely known. Hiring African web developers, content writers, customer service representatives, transcription specialists, or data labelers doesn’t just make good sense for your business; it also empowers individuals living in some of the world’s poorest countries and enables them to provide for them and their families. 

Here are seven countries from across the subcontinent with thriving outsourcing industries to help you operate your business more efficiently and contribute to Africa’s economic growth.

   1.  Ethiopia

With an annual growth rate of 7.7 % Ethiopia, has quickly become a BPO hotspot. Technology has driven the country’s economic and social transformation, so it is not surprising that Ethiopia has positioned itself as a leader in technology development and support.

One of the continent’s most prominent names is Addis-Ababa based EdTech and job-placement company Gebeya. Gebeya trains its employees to become top software engineers in such diverse specialties as AI, AgriTech, Blockchain, FinTech, Internet of Things, Media Production, Telecom, and Gaming. Since its inception in 2016, Gebeya has expanded beyond its Addis Ababa headquarters. The company has recently closed a $2 million seed round investment.

The R&D Group also connects international businesses to Ethiopia’s untapped IT talent. The company proactively addresses potential clients’ concerns about Africa’s unfamiliar business environment by offering flexible contracts that range in length from a couple of weeks to years. This flexibility can encourage global executives who might not think to look to Africa for their business solutions to consider setting up commercial collaborations on the continent.

   2.  Nigeria

Over 200 million people live in Nigeria, making it Africa’s most populous country and home to a large young and dynamic workforce. With hundreds of thousands of English-speaking university graduates joining the labor pool each year, Nigeria is a natural destination for outsourcing your BPO or IT development needs. 

Nigeria’s government is actively seeking to draw outsourcing clients to the country. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has drafted a National Outsourcing Strategy, and industry organizations such as the Association of Outsourcing Practitioners of Nigeria (AOPN) can help you find the best partner for your business.

   3.  South Africa

South Africa is keen on positioning itself as a leading BPO destination. Its high number of native English speakers, favorable time zone, and affordable broadband infrastructure make it ideal for companies looking for competent and cost-effective outsourcing solutions.The South African government has launched a program to promote outsourcing activities. The regulatory environment allows companies to draw on the country’s skilled labor pool to improve overall productivity.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses can make use of South Africa’s thriving outsourcing sector. Companies such as Avirtual help individuals and start-ups be more productive by matching them with available talent to provide virtual support. Avirtual’s services include matching companies with virtual assistants, virtual marketing assistants, and other remote employees. Indox, another South African company, provides BPO services such as outsourced document collection, quality assurance, data verification, data extraction, and call center outsourcing. For legal solutions, companies can turn to Integreon, which provides alternative legal and business solutions through multi-lingual and around the clock support. 

   4.  Kenya

Kenya is a BPO trailblazer on the continent. Its numerous outsourcing companies cover multiple sectors and draw on Kenya’s educated workforce and growing infrastructure to offer high-quality services at a competitive cost. 

Kenya’s diverse BPO landscape includes Corporate staffing services. The company helps clients meet their local HR needs by managing administrative and operational tasks such as issuing contracts, processing payments, advising on labor laws, and providing a physical workstation for outsourced staff. Techno Brain, another Kenyan company, offers consumer and market analytics services in addition to its BPO services. Techno Brain’s services include call center management, back-office services, knowledge process management, and digital media services for their clients across the globe.

   5.  Ghana

Ghana is West Africa’s top BPO outsourcing destination. The country is particularly attractive to companies looking to outsource their technology development and support tasks thanks to its business-friendly regulatory and tax environment, governmental support for the industry, favorable time zone, educated and English-speaking workforce, and robust IT infrastructure.

Ghana’s thriving outsourcing ecosystem includes Trinity Software Center, a social enterprise that connects West African and European companies with local software developers. ACS Ghana, another Ghanaian tech outsourcing company, employs highly skilled African engineers and project managers to provide technology solutions to domestic and international businesses. 

   6.  Mauritius

Mauritius, a small island off Africa’s southeast coast, is widely considered the continent’s most politically and economically stable country. The country’s
highly developed infrastructure, coupled with its high number of educated native English and French speakers, and business-friendly tax regime, make Mauritius an ideal outsourcing destination.

Mauritius’ outsourcing landscape includes Mobi Move, a company that employs expert designers, branding strategists, and software developers to help clients grow their business. SIL, a Mauritian tech services company that focuses on IT solutions and services, has grown to include employees in over fifteen countries, with subsidiaries in Namibia and Botswana. 

   7.  Madagascar

Madagascar has the fastest internet in Africa, a large Francophone population, and competitive cost of labor, which has led to the establishment of many BPO companies over the past decade. As a result, Madagascar has begun encroaching on Morocco’s territory and has become a top BPO destination for French speakers. Most BPO companies offer variants of data collection and processing services. Still, some have taken advantage of the robust telecommunications infrastructure to provide technology development and support services.  

Some of the outsourcing companies include Bocasay, which provides IT services such as web development, mobile development, software development, and application management. Oworkers, another Malagasy company, focuses on data entry, processing, validation, categorization, and content moderation services.

Looking to Africa for Your Business Needs

Sub-Saharan Africa might not be first in mind when looking to contract out IT, business processing, or HR services. This will change as the region’s thriving outsourcing continues to expand. Given the variety of services that can be sourced on the continent, companies should look to African talent to maximize the efficiency and profitability of their business while creating jobs on the continent.

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