Externaliser vers l'Afrique

Au cours des 40 dernières années, les progrès de l'informatique et des communications ont transformé tour à tour plusieurs régions du monde : d'abord les Etats-Unis et l'Europe, ensuite le Japon, la Corée et Taiwan, et plus récemment l'Inde, la Chine, et l'Europe de l'Est. L'Afrique sera-t-elle la prochaine ?

Malgré les guerres civiles, la malnutrition et l'angoisse suscitée par l'épidémie de sida, l'Afrique noire est en train de franchir une étape essentielle : l'émergence discrète du secteur des technologies de l'information. Ce n'est pas encore Silicon Valley, mais ces frémissements peuvent et doivent être encouragés pour que l'Afrique prospère.

Prenons l'exemple d'un immeuble de bureaux à Accra, la capitale du Ghana. Sur plusieurs étages, quelque 1 500 employés africains traitent des demandes d'indemnité pour une assurance maladie américaine, vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre, en trois équipes. Ils parlent anglais, tapent au moins cinquante mots par minute sur leurs ordinateurs, lisent des informations sur des formulaires remplis à la main par les assurés et transmis sous forme électronique par satellite par les assureurs, saisissent ces données puis les renvoient aux Etats-Unis. La connexion est telle que les nouveaux formulaires peuvent être contrôlés, à mesure qu'ils sont remplis, par un superviseur américain à 13 000 km de là.

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