With a vast young pool of tech talent, robust infrastructure, and convenient time zones, the African continent is emerging as a new global hotspot for quality IT outsourcing. These key attributes, among others, were recently discussed in Tek Expert’s webinar, The Rise of Africa as the Next IT Outsourcing Hub, on September 14th, 2022.
The webinar was hosted by the Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) and featured a panel of tech industry experts, including Tek Experts’ client Micro Focus, who shared their successes working in the IT industry in Nigeria and Rwanda.
Intrigued? Good news – you can watch the webinar replay to take a deep dive into Africa’s IT business landscape.
For those of you who didn’t have time to watch the recording, or for those who did but need a refresher, we’re sharing three key takeaways from the session.
1. Tackling the global skills gap, today
The way people work is changing fast. The rapid digitalization of today’s world has led to a digital skills gap resulting in a shortage of talent needed to support and implement the digital agendas of businesses and governments. To put it simply, it’s harder to source, onboard, and retain great talent, globally.
In fact, 87% of companies are not prepared to address the digital skills shortage while only 20% of tech industry employees are women, which is the widest gender gap in 40 years.
With 6,000 employees across 10 different countries, Tek Experts is tapping into diverse talent around the world. Combining the strength of Tek Experts and our sister companies, elev8 and Talentwize by elev8, we created YNV Tech Talent. We provide end-to-end solutions covering the full talent lifecycle, helping enterprises and governments bridge the digital skills gap at scale.
2. Top reasons why Africa is the next frontier for outsourcing
Leading global organizations like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and IBM are already seeing the untapped potential on the African continent.
With a combined BPO workforce size of about 790,000 workers and the combined estimated US$15.1 billion domestic and international market size, Africa has emerged as a new hub for IT outsourcing services. Here’refive reasons why Africa is rising as a premium tech outsourcing location:
- The largest youth population
Africa’s expanding talent pipeline is driven by fresh-to-the-market youth with a self-starter attitude ready to develop their skills and serve local and global markets at scale.
Nigeria is home to 58 million of Africa’s youth and almost a third of Rwanda’s population are young people who are eager to learn and fuel the country’s digital growth.
- Cost-effective human capital
The average cost index for African countries is about 38.5 as compared to 107.9 in the UK. This makes Africa highly competitive in terms of providing organizations with a highly skilled and cost-effective workforce.
- Africa is multilingual
English is the official language for business in many African countries. Nigeria has the largest population of English speakers in Africa (over 79 million), along with proficiencies in French and Portuguese. Additionally, English is the primary language used in all levels of education in Rwanda.
- Convenient time zones
African countries share similar time zones with European countries and are able to serve APAC areas as well. These convenient time zones reduce delays in communication and create a productive work environment.
- Impact sourcing
African countries offer an opportunity for brands to not only tap into a growing talent base but also have a meaningful impact on the local economies and communities. By employing and upskilling professionals from emerging economies, businesses can contribute to reducing inequality and developing Africa’s talent and economy.
3. Proven Success in Nigeria and Rwanda
Tek Experts started its operation in Lagos, Nigeria in 2018. Nearly 2,000 highly skilled employees (the team grew 10 times since the beginning of our operations) are providing exceptional 24/7 enterprise tech services and support to our global clients. We’ve also scaled our operations in Africa by setting up our first office in Rwanda in 2021.
Our success in these African countries shows the capabilities of local talent and the advantages of the African market. Our teams in Nigeria and Rwanda continue to learn and develop their skills while adding value and driving brand loyalty and revenue growth for some of the biggest global tech brands.
Client Success: The Micro Focus outsourcing experience
Micro Focus is one of the world’s largest enterprise software providers delivering mission-critical technology to more than 40,000 customers around the globe. Headquartered in the UK, they employ over 11,000 people and has offices in 48 countries.
Micro Focus partners with Tek Experts to expand their support team with high-quality tech talent and provide additional flexibility and capacity. Tek’s engineers are an extension of the Micro Focus team – helping them deliver exceptional customer experiences and positive outcomes.
“We work as a single team with Tek Experts. I encourage everyone on my team to work as one team. There’s no us and them, it’s a partnership,” comments David Papworth, EMEA Customer Support Director, Micro Focus.
Micro Focus has been working with Tek Experts in Rwanda for more than six months now. Here’s what David shares when asked about their experience:
“When it was first mentioned that we’d be having a new team in Rwanda, I wasn’t expecting it. But I was told very early on about the country’s young and dynamic workforce, with good education, advanced language skills, and as I found out quite a European style of working which works with our customer base as well.”
Some of the top learnings for him included visiting the location which gave him a chance to really connect with the local teams and learn more about what drives them.
“The engineers there have a real pride working with international customers and organizations. They talk about their pride and how their family is proud of what they do. This isn’t just a job for them, it’s something they love doing and are proud to do. This made a big difference to me.”
As companies worldwide experience the effects of the global digital skills gap, many are searching for new ways to find talent with the skills needed to support and grow their business.
Africa could be the solution for IT companies around the world. With the largest youth population in the world, cost-effective workforces, multilingual capabilities, convenient time zones, and impact sourcing opportunities, the continent is a promising solution for companies needing to fill their digital skills gaps.
Tek Experts, among many other global IT companies, are experiencing great success operating out of African locations. Nigeria and Rwanda specifically have been extremely successful locations for companies outsourcing IT services, support, and customer success to Tek Experts, and those sites are expected to continue growing in the upcoming years.
Micro Focus now has over 6 months of experience working with Tek Experts in Rwanda and is confident in the future of its operations there. It has been a great success for both companies and their IT leaders have experienced first-hand the country’s young and dynamic workforce with good education, advanced language skills, pride in their careers, and a European style of working which is optimal for their customer base.