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Nigeria’s outsourcing sub-sector worth $285.8m, employs 16,540

By Adeyemi Adepetun
08 September 2021   |   4:25 am
Nigeria currently controls $285.8 million of the combined African domestic and international global business services (GBS) sub-sector estimated to be $15.1 billion and expected to grow to $19.8 billion by 2023.

• Ranks behind S’Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco  

Nigeria currently controls $285.8 million of the combined African domestic and international global business services (GBS) sub-sector estimated to be $15.1 billion and expected to grow to $19.8 billion by 2023.
Workforce capacity through GBS, also known as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) ranges from 1,200 in Mozambique to over 261,000 workers in South Africa. In Nigeria, BPO is said to employ 16,540 people. 
According to the ‘2021 Africa Global Business Services (GBS) Benchmarking and Market Report’ conducted by Knowledge Executive between February and July, obtained by The Guardian, the monthly cost of a contact centre agent in Africa can range from $546 to as little as $175 per month.
The report claimed that the continent has an abundance of educated youths within its labour pool, with many equipped with multilingual proficiency in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and some German, Chinese and Italian expertise in some instances.

It observed that these workforces also have high levels of empathy and emotional intelligence. There are also low attrition rates, and strong investor support and incentives, among them.
The report noted that Africa’s largest economy by GDP ($448 billion), Nigeria, boasts of a well-established ICT sector, and the largest on the continent. It said that this feature serves as an excellent foundation for developing the country’s GBS/BPO industry, “which is already valued at an estimated $286.8 million, employing 16,540 workers.
“Coupled with a focus on sector-specific skills and education, the country stands poised to take advantage of the largest population of English speakers in Africa and the highest number of youths on the continent aged between 18-35 years (53 million).”
The comprehensive market report revealed the key socioeconomic, demographic and technological drivers behind Africa’s rise as a GBS location of excellence, with BPO and IT-enabling services at the forefront of Africa’s rapid growth rates.
According to it, maturing and emerging GBS/BPO markets emerged as business continuity outsourcing/offshoring locations across the continent during the pandemic as global enterprises looked to decentralise geographic service delivery, spread and risk.
Getting the 2021 Africa Global Business Services (GBS) Benchmarking and Market Report together, the research team conducted 360 global interviews. This included over 140 interviews with global enterprise executives from organizations in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the UK and the US that outsource, or plan to outsource, to Africa. These executives were asked to rank and rate each African country, including service level delivery across various key business process areas.
In addition, profiling surveys were conducted on over 500 GBS service providers and delivery centers across 19 African countries. The 19 African country-profiling surveys represented a mix of mature, emerging and nascent GBS locations in Africa that now serve as key locations for global and local investors and buyers.
The research findings highlight the macro- and micro-economic environments of each location and quantify the size of Africa’s burgeoning GBS/BPO sectors.    
The report showed key insights into each country’s regional GBS competitiveness, along with reviews of ICT/ITES capabilities and enabling infrastructure. The business and investment environments related to skills, services, strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities are also assessed and analyzed.
Moreover, market trends, sizes and salary reviews were corroborated and validated for each country, which the report shares alongside insights into future growth forecasts based on each county’s favorable environment and unique demographic profiles.
Despite ranking third in GDP ($351 billion), South Africa is the continent’s largest domestic and international GBS/BPO player by market share, which is valued at an estimated $4.7 billion. The local sector employs over 261,082 workers. The country has a large English-speaking workforce with competencies across most outsourcing services, including digital services. Surveyed enterprise executives rated the country best in terms of contact center voice, back office processing and customer administration service delivery.

Egypt has the second largest GBS/BPO market share in Africa, valued at over $4 billion (excluding IT services), which operates within Africa’s second-largest economy (GDP of $363 billion). The sector supports over 240,000 workers. The country offers a highly skilled, multilingual, diverse talent pool, with competitive labor costs and the second-largest youth population in Africa (36.3 million citizens aged between 18-35 years). The native Arabic language opens Egypt to the Arabic market of 300 million consumers.
Compared to other African nations, the report noted that Egypt boasts a sophisticated and developed ICT infrastructure. Unsurprisingly, it reported that the enterprise executives surveyed in this research rated Egypt first for digital contact center and data management services, and second overall in terms of contact center voice, customer administration and back office processing service delivery.
According to the report, Rwanda is an emerging GBS/BPO market with a growing market share that is currently estimated to be $131 million. The sector employs an estimated 6,980 GBS/BPO workers, within a country that has a large population of English and French speakers. It disclosed that reliable and advanced communications infrastructure, with 95 per cent LTE network coverage, will continue to support Rwanda’s growth as a GBS/BPO destination of choice for English and Francophone countries.


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