Home BusinessBPO Elevate Africa Conference: the first Africa-wide BPO event

Africa’s BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) sector is thriving. It’s a growing part of the continent’s ICT industry. While countries like India and the Philippines have established prominent offshore delivery locations for IT and business services, African countries are now seeing a surge in real BPO interest and investment. While South Africa and Egypt have relatively established markets (capturing over 60% of the African market); new African entrants are now being considered.

Africa offers a dynamic future. By 2050, it will account for one-quarter of the global labor force and over 40% by 2100. Africa is also the youngest continent in the world, with a median age of 19.

BPO is often erroneously equated with the ubiquitous call center agent wearing the iconic headset. The reality is that the sector is increasingly driven by AI-augmented functions, complex fin-tech, LPO, and a spectrum of functions. An impressive 13 quality US global brands chose South Africa alone in the past year; with some having already expanded into secondary markets like Kenya, an impressive new entrant performance. 

The “Elevate Africa Conference,” a three-day event held in Tatu City, Kenya, was probably the first “Africa-wide BPO” event of its kind. It showcased the continent to a wide range of analysts, influencers, and clients and attracted an impressive range of senior industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world. The event opened discussions and collaborations across the BPO industry, showcasing the potential of African countries and cities to become the new BPO hubs of the world.

CCI officially launched the new major Tatu City Call Center because of the sector’s success and coinciding with Elevate Africa.

Pictures copyright: CCI

The last few days, they have celebrated the vibrancy of the African continent, showcasing Africa’s unique combination of talented youth, linguistic diversity, and technological agility, which makes it an invaluable asset in the global marketplace.

Surveys to date all indicate that the number one factor in site location is cost. African countries can be up to 50% cheaper than competing destinations while simultaneously providing superior service levels and attrition rates that are at least three times lower. The workforce is also more stable, and employee replacement is considerably lower, resulting in higher BPO returns.


About the author: Rob Cannavo is a former South African Trade Diplomat with overseas assignments in Angola, Italy & the United Kingdom, where he served as Trade Commissioner in London until the end of 2010. 

Rob Cannavo holds a pivotal role as a Senior Advisor to key multinationals across Africa. His registration with the FSCA (Financial Services & Conduct Authority) in South Africa, and his status as an authorized and regulated Financial Services Provider, further underlines his professional standing. 

Rob is an Honorary Consul for South Africa and supports global initiatives on a bilateral and multi-lateral basis. He is the founder of RSC Advisory Ltd, which advises multinationals on-site locations across Africa and supports key partnerships across the continent.

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