I received the following letter a few weeks ago from Diana Gitiba, a woman who runs a Computer Assisted Design outsourcing center in Nairobi. I thought it was worth including in full:
I am writing from Kenya, Africa, and I would like to express my support for your views. You have heard of the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”? A lot of the sympathy and donations that Africa currently gets to compensate for our poverty is often in line with “feeding Africa for a day”. However, if the global economy can help to offer employment (through outsourcing to Africa), this type of CSR would be in line with “feeding him for a lifetime”.
Educated, Unemployed Africans:
Unfortunately, the world gets very limited news of Africa. The world is not fully informed of the hundreds of thousands of well educated , relatively well exposed Africans, but who are currently unemployed. This is the group of people who will help lift Africa from its economic disadvantage. But they can only do so if they get opportunities to use their capabilities and diligence to get employment or start up enterprises.
Outsource to Africa, Benefit Your Company:
I am of the belief that there is enough wealth in this world, and that by enriching the poor countries, the rich countries will not get poorer but richer. The outsourcing company benefits by outsourcing lower-end tasks (such as data entry, transcription, call centers, CAD drafting, website design, and so on) and focusing its resources on higher-end activities such as recruiting new clients, development of new products and new company strategies. By outsourcing to Africa, the outsourcing company should still aim to attain high quality standards for their work, cost efficiency, and on-time delivery since this is the expectation for work done by qualified, well educated staff – whether from Africa or Asia.
As part of their CSR activities, I would encourage companies to outsource to Africa. The initial risk of outsourcing to a new destination will be the major CSR factor. However, the risk can be minimized by ensuring that a trial with the new outsourcing provider is done, followed by a pilot project for several months, and for large companies, they can outsource to two or more destinations.
Outsourcing is a perfect way give Africa an economic leap forward!
Diana’s company is called Adept Technologies.