La subcontratación externa en África

En los 40 últimos años, las computadoras y comunicaciones avanzadas han transformado una parte del mundo tras otra: en primer lugar, los Estados Unidos y Europa, después el Japón, Corea y Taiwán y, mas recientemente, la India, China y la Europa oriental. ¿Será África la siguiente?

Pese a las guerras civiles, la malnutrición y la angustia por la epidemia de SIDA, en el África negra está ocurriendo algo extraordinario: el sigiloso aumento de un sector de la tecnología avanzada. Si bien no representa precisamente un "Valle del Silicio", para que África prospere, se pueden y se deben alimentar esos brotes de industria de tecnología avanzada.

Pensemos en lo que está sucediendo en varios pisos de un alto edificio de oficinas en Accra, capital de Ghana. En él unos 1.500 africanos elaboran digitalmente solicitudes de reembolso de compañías americanas de seguros de enfermedad... trabajando las 24 horas del día, en tres turnos. Los africanos hablan inglés, escriben al menos cincuenta palabras por minuto en una computadora, toman los datos de formularios en papel facilitados en forma electrónica y vía satélite por compañías de seguros de enfermedad, los convierten en nuevos formularios digitales y los envían de regreso a los EE.UU. Esos africanos están tan conectados, que sus formularios pueden ser revisados -a medida que los rellenan- por un supervisor americano a casi 13.000 kilómetros de distancia.

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