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How has ‘Africa’ become the hub of global outsourcing in recent years?

Date 06-04-2021

In recent years, Africa has certainly poised to finally become the soaring international powerhouse for the outsourcing industry, having been acknowledged as the esteemed “Offshoring Destination of the Year” in the years 2016 and 2018.

With well-cemented governmental support and corporate incentives, Africa has smartly lured in a spectrum of businesses like British Gas, BT, and Amazon as major accolades.
Cultural affinity, Decent command over English, and similar time zones have spurred exponential growth in the BPO sector, an industry that has an overall worth of $237 billion as of 2020.
As of 2021, African economies like Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Mauritius, Kenya, Madagascar, and Nigeria have built a thriving presence in the global outsourcing scene!

Competency

Did you know? The overall unemployment rate of Africa presently sits at 30.8%. The nation’s BPO industry, as such, delivers a relatively lower barrier for employment opportunities. It is an extremely attractive option though, for an impressive number of young adults who are ambitious and eager to get a headstart in their careers, at an early age. Known and revered for their impressive and perfectionist work ethic, it is certainly highly appealing for the BPO service providers.
The extensive availability of quality and skilled human resource professionals
has been the innate fuel of success, especially for the MNC, seeking to leverage Africa Economies, for the execution of the tedious and complicated tasks.

As of 2021, the companies are rendered with open access to the working professionals whose cemented base is certainly present in large companies. They are provided with access to professionals available in several crucial business-related industries, such as financial services, legal services, IT, procurement services, and even multi-channel customer experience.

Integrated Infrastructure

The physical infrastructure of the buildings situated in Cape Town is no way less than the looks of posh European housings. Now you might be wondering why Africa is a relatively preferred destination for outsourcing? For starters, the exponential growth of domestic transportation support and SEACOM fibre-optic powered telecommunications network make it a go-to choice of many.

Africa’s holistic Ease-of-Doing-Business index is certainly on the rise because of the adoption of next-gen technology. African economies like Kenya, South Africa, and Botswana, come under the top 100 rankings by The World Bank Group! With Kenya at 56, South Africa at 84, and Botswana at 87 are quite impressive ranks! Being a cluster of third-world countries, Africa certainly understands the innate value of opportunities and has hence made the best use of them ever since the beginning. From adopting cost-cutting alternatives to taking up more agile alternatives, Africa as of 2021, has been able to render each and everything, right from the cloud-based services to the integrated advanced analytics at cutting-edge prices to the hiring businesses.

Cost Efficiency

In this day and age of the competitive world, every other company needs to be mindful of its bottom line.
Being a hub of third-world countries, the labor costs are naturally much lower than the more organized and industrialized countries around the globe, which tend to have much-elevated salary rates! On top of this, the cost of living is also relatively lower. Since the whole world is influenced by the economic climate, a place that readily offers lower costs, Africa is certainly turning out to be an attractive alternative for companies seeking cost-effective options!

Advantage of the time-difference

Here’s a knowledge nugget for you. Africa possesses a host of multiple time zones that overlap one another. The close time-zone affinity of countries like South Africa, definitely makes it a better option than other places, for the countries of the European continent, seeking to render the services, especially during the work-hours, for superior follow-up support.

Africa’s charming appeal of providing round-the-clock quality service, that too at marginally lesser rates, is what pulls in businesses seeking outsourcing services across the planet. Large and small offshore clients alike of Australia and the United States, are ready to seize the opportunity of getting a helping hand from the skilled and numbered African delegates, during their ‘’downtime’’ to provide services to their host of clients.

This work typically encompasses customer support, but these days, it is evolving my many folds, to include customer experience management, such as upskilling, retention, chats, and social media interaction, among others!

Cultural Diversity

If you were to google ‘Most culturally diverse continent in the world’, African countries will show up one by one in the results! Thanks to its mesmeric biosphere, spectacular geography, and rich historical significance, Africa certainly comes under the long-standing list of tourist go-to destinations with an added benefit of stable climate and wondrous wildlife. All these factors have certainly helped in drawing up an image that definitely calls in sales and services across the planet.

Being a resilient, adaptable, empathetic, diligent, sincere, and heedful bunch, makes up for a quality human resource that is well-suited to pay heed to the requirements of the MNC clients. African countries like South Africa, are already a strong brand, while Mauritius, is certainly well known to the Europeans while not as well known to Americans yet, as they are quite advanced, and somehow already tend to have an exponentially growing BPO sector in the industry! Countries such as Kenya, Ghana, and Botswana have already been organized and are quite stable. This is why they seem to be overtly poised to become strong outsourcing destinations in the coming years!

Language

Since Africa is composed of nations that are blessed with an abundance of traditional blueprints and ethnic backgrounds, it is rather interesting to note that a huge chunk of corporate professionals are well-versed in the English language. Both conversational and in writing.
The English language is the medium of instruction for countless national universities, as it is even used during parliamentary and state proceedings. This ubiquity with the English language certainly makes the international communication process a smooth ride for both parties. A nascent level of training is carried out for the sake of accent neutralization in the BPO’s, but surprisingly the training is certainly not necessary in African countries, as the similar language and accent with England, certainly helps in mitigating the process. In recent years, Madagascar has been making use of its great Internet speeds plus low-cost Malagasy- accented french speaking skills, in order to challenge the so-called established destinations of outsourcing like Tunisia and Morocco!

Also, due to its history of European Colonialism, Africans are well-versed in English, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch (Afrikaans), Italian and Spanish. Plus the favourable time-zone is also almost the same as Europe!
Since North Africa is several hours away from Europe compared to India and China, hence, the geographical location becomes an added advantage!
The customer service professionals working in the African customer service scene are surprisingly well-versed in Swedish, Dutch, Arabic, Polish, and even Lithuanian! No wonder Africa has become the knight in the world of global outsourcing!

Conclusion

The thriving outsourcing industry of Africa, naturally assists the corporations of the major top economies, to go neck to neck with the local as well as the international market. This is done to render innumerable benefits, which clearly would not have been accomplished if somehow the processes were handled or helmed by their local corporations.

Hiring skilled manpower from countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and South Sudan honestly not just accounts for a great business move, but it empowers and renders a decent financial security net to the youth. This in turn helps them become capable providers for their families!

Provided the assortment of services that could be easily sourced from the continent, the businesses around the globe should seek quality manpower from African nations. Simply for maximizing the overall efficiency along with the all-around integrated profitability for one's business, while simultaneously creating job opportunities for the rising African talent.