Gaborone – A new report by Knowledge Executive says SADC member states will play a major role in Africa’s global business services and business process outsourcing (GBS/BPO) growth, which is expected to reach almost US$20 billion by 2023.
According to the research, five African countries are positioned as maturing and emerging GBS/BPO locations: South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Rwanda and Botswana. The report says apart from South Africa and Botswana, other SADC countries to watch out for are Zimbabwe and Mauritius.
Knowledge Executive says its research affirms the continent’s status as a rising economic powerhouse.
“Notably, the combined African domestic and international GBS/BPO sector is estimated to be US$15.1 billion and is expected to grow to US$19.8 billion by 2023,” the report says.
With Africa’s third largest GDP (US$351 billion), South Africa is the continent’s biggest domestic and international GBS/BPO player by market share (US$4.7 billion). The sector employs over 261,082 workers and the country has a large English-speaking workforce with competencies across most outsourcing services.
Surveyed enterprise executives rated South Africa best in terms of contact centres, back office processing and customer administration service delivery.
Knowledge Executive says According to the report, Egypt has the second largest GBS/BPO market share in Africa, valued at over US$4 billion (excluding IT services), which operates within Africa’s second-largest economy (GDP of $363 billion). The sector supports over 240,000 workers.
Africa’s largest economy by GDP (US$448 billion), Nigeria, boasts of the continent’s largest ICT sector, which serves as the foundation for developing the country’s GBS/BPO industry, which is valued at an estimated US$286.8 million with 16,540 workers.
Botswana is another emerging GBS/BPO location, boasting an estimated market size of US$40.3 million and employing 2,600 workers, the report notes. The country enjoys macroeconomic stability and offers attractive investment incentives and a growing pool of educated, English-speaking workers.
“Additional maturing and emerging African regions within the GBS/BPO space include Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Senegal. Morocco currently offers over 73,500 GBS/BPO workers who boast excellent French-language capabilities, coupled with a strong BPO services offering, regional technology and IT-enabling capabilities,” says the report.
Mauritius has created a burgeoning GBS/BPO market thanks in large part to excellent ICT and cyber facilities, a friendly regulatory environment, and globally competitive back office and data management services, says the report.
“Other African nations to watch include Senegal which is emerging as a strong French alternative market for BPO services; Ghana with its scalable pool of English-speaking and computer literate talent and growing youth population; and Zimbabwe which has bold GBS/BPO development plans based on its highly educated talent pool for niche services,” the report says.