Outsourcing in Africa

In the past 40 years, advanced computers and communications have transformed one part of the world after another - first, the US and Europe, then Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and most recently, India, China, and Eastern Europe. Is Africa next?

Despite civil wars, malnutrition, and the anguish of the AIDS epidemic, something remarkable is happening in black Africa: the stealthy rise of a high-technology sector. If not quite representing an African "Silicon Valley," these shoots of high-tech industry nonetheless can and must be nurtured if Africa is to thrive.

Consider what is happening on several floors of a single high-rise office building in Accra, Ghana's capital. There some 1,500 Africans process American health-insurance claims - working around the clock, in three shifts. The Africans speak English, type at least 50 words a minute on a computer, take data from paper claim forms supplied by US health insurers via satellite in electronic form, put it into new digital forms, and ship them back to the US. So connected are these Africans that their forms can be reviewed - as they fill them in - by an American supervisor 8,000 miles away.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/LBwMs70;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.