The culture of outsourcing in Africa

Fast-growing economies, developing IT infrastructure and cheap labour is luring multinationals and big companies to outsource their BPO and ITO services to sub-Saharan countries

outsourcing ts

Although India and Southeast Asia remain favourite locations for international companies to outsource their services, countries in Africa are leaping through the global outsourcing list and are progressively evolving into competitive hotspots for both information technology outsourcing (ITO) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.

Among the reasons making Africa an attractive outsourcing destination are fast-growing economies – according to Focus Economics, six out of the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa – cheap labour, improving infrastructure and growing investment from international companies.

Modernisation of ICT infrastructure, increased technology adoption – including data analytics and cloud computing – and regional governments investment and incentives are also contributing to place African countries under the outsourcing spotlight. 

Some argue that outsourcing, despite being fuelled by the morally dubious business aim to find cheap labour, can also have a positive impact on people living and working in developing economies.

“By responsibly and ethically employing hundreds of thousands of people, BPOs have a role to play in shifting the social landscape in emerging economies around the world,” said a report from Telus International, a Canadian outsourcing firm, and Impakt, a social responsibility consultancy, quoted in the British daily The Guardian.

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