April 29th, 2022
With a vast young pool of tech talent, convenient time zones, and world-class IT infrastructure, Africa is quickly emerging as the next frontier for Global Business Services (GBS) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
Leading global brands like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and IBM are already seeing huge untapped potential on the African continent. From younger demographics to a combined BPO workforce size of about 790,000 workers and the combined estimated US$15.1 billion domestic and international market size, Africa is rising as a hotspot for high-quality IT outsourcing services.
The Leading African Countries of IT Outsourcing
With 54 countries at widely varying stages of development, it’s worth focusing in on a few key places with the greatest GBS and BPO potential in order to fully appreciate the outsourcing capabilities of Africa.
With a population nearly double that of the next largest country on the continent, Nigeria alone boasts more than 100 million people between the ages of 15 and 35. This means roughly 1 in 8 Africans in that age range is Nigerian, which is especially important as this age range is the future of the tech workforce.
That young and dynamic population is currently creating a real tech boom in the country. The Nigerian capital of Lagos already has everything from a fresh start-up ecosystem to many more established tech firm offices. This growth is being fuelled in part by a convenient location (sharing a time zone with most of Europe), fast internet speeds, and steadily improving ease of doing business.
While its population is only a fraction of Nigeria’s, Rwanda punches far above its weight in the tech world. The country has placed intense focus on education, particularly in STEM, and technology in recent decades. The result has been the establishment of Rwanda as a regional tech hub, leveraging its large well-educated, English-speaking, and young workforce to draw in companies like Tek Experts.
Like the others on this list, Kenya has placed a great deal of government focus on developing its technology sector to great effect. The presence of major offices from firms like Amazon and Google has led to the “Silicon Savannah” nickname. In fact, mobile money giant M-PESA was founded in Kenya before going on to show the world what such technologies can do.
Today, much like Rwanda and Nigeria, Kenya has a young, educated, and English-speaking population in a convenient time zone to do business with Europe and the Middle East. It doesn’t hurt that The World Bank’s most recent Ease of Doing Business report placed Kenya second in Africa after only Rwanda.
Leveraging Africa’s young and diverse talent pool
Africa has a huge pool of highly skilled talent in sectors like IT, engineering, business management, and finance. Nigeria, for example, rolls out an impressive 600,000 tertiary graduates every year, followed by Egypt (507,201), and South Africa (221,942).
Moreover, Africa’s skills pipeline includes a younger population of fresh-to-the-market young people who are motivated to develop their IT skills and work with international companies. Looking at the numbers, Nigeria is home to 58 million of Africa’s youth (the youngest population on the continent) while almost a third of Rwanda’s population consists of young people.
Last but not least, the skilled young talent in Africa has good English language skills and a high degree of cultural alignment to Western countries. This coupled with a similar time zone to European companies and shared business culture is shifting the paradigm in the outsourcing industry.
Potential drawbacks of Outsourcing in Africa
Longstanding misconceptions still lead many companies to shy away from doing business in African nations. The main drawback most focus on is lack of technical business in some regions. Many African countries don’t have nearly as many IT companies as other oversaturated markets, which may cause a lack in experience or increased digital skills gaps.
Fortunately, these challenges are being overcome through employability and training programs and governments and organizations dedicated to investing in digital skilling and infrastructure. Taken together, these strategies enable the reliable use of impact sourcing, unlocking the full potential of African countries and their talent for strong IT service development.
Prominent IT Support and development companies in Africa
At Tek Experts, we recognize Africa’s rising status as a premium IT outsourcing location. Lagos, Nigeria, and Kigali, Rwanda are homes to two of our fastest-growing delivery sites that provide technical services to some of the best technology brands in the world.
Tek Experts employs nearly 2,000 people in Nigeria alone. Our Nigerian operation launched in 2018 and is currently our largest global delivery site providing high-quality 24/7 enterprise tech support to world-class firms around the world. Due to our success in Nigeria, we expanded our operations to Rwanda, opening our site there in 2021 with 50 employees and expecting to grow to 600 by the end of 2023.
In addition to establishing these offices, we’re working closely with our partner company elev8 to train and develop a new generation of talent in Africa. Tapping into the local diverse technical talent and looking to train and upskill people at our African sites, we’re dedicated to driving the growth of our clients and the African region.
“We’re cultivating local talent to thrive in a digitally-driven world. Tech support is our focus and expertise.”
Olugbolahan Olusanya, Country Manager of Tek Experts Nigeria
Our participation in the Microsoft LEAP program since 2019 has, in particular, enabled us to help develop a new generation of female IT talent in Nigeria and Rwanda.
Our years of experience on the continent has shown us that its potential is simply tremendous, pushing us to find new ways to unlock opportunities for local communities and our international partners.
Looking to a Bright Future for Outsourcing in Africa
Africa is rising as one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. Many African countries are successfully leveraging the advantage of their vast talent pool, young demographics, and English language speaking population to rapidly turn into an attractive global IT outsourcing hub. At Tek Experts, we’re already tapping into Africa’s immense potential and effectively utilizing and developing local tech talent.
Want to dive into our first-hand insights and discover why leading global brands are tapping into Africa? Download our eBook to learn more.