Outsourcing: Kenya vs. Nigeria in Africa

I am writing this entry with happiness and sadness.  Happiness for Kenya, and sadness for Nigeria.  Africa is a part of the world, that had a hard time developing and has been plagued with disease, famine, civil war, dictators, and blood thirsty rebels.  Although the people are very charming, the continent doesn’t sound like my type of a place — even to visit!  I went to college with dozens of African classmates from all over the continent from Morocco, to Cote D’ivoire, Kenya, Lesuthu, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, and many other places as well.  So, I’m familiar with people from Africa, at least educated ones. But, running 123outsource.net has made me become painfully aware of the economic realities of modern Africa.  Certain countries are serious about doing business, while others are not.
When I started 123outsource.net, I assumed many things. I assumed that our web design section with it’s 800 listings (largest section on our site) would do well. I was not aware that web design as an industry was failing.  I assumed that India would be our #1 country — I was correct on that guess.  I assumed that South Africa would be the most active African country in outsourcing on my site — wrong again.  Kenya wins the competition. We get many serious companies in BPO, Data Entry, Call Center, Accounting, and other specialties signing up from Kenya regularly. We see a little activity from South Africa too, but not as much.  Nigeria has been a disaster. Yes, the sign up numbers are there, but most of them look like schemes, or businesses not relevant to our site such as money changing.  Hopefully none of the companies are fraudulent.
Nigeria leads the world in corruption and internet scams as well. It is scary and sad.  If a country is to get ahead, they need a strong work ethic, and a good reputation. Nigeria seems to be shooting itself in the foot, even on our site with it’s questionable listings.
Things seem to always change.  Twenty years ago, the world was a very different place.  Perhaps in another twenty, Kenya will rise to be a very powerful country, and we will all have to learn Kiswahili.  We’ll see. They are on the right track for now, based on how they are performing on my little directory. In the mean time — “kwahairi”.  So long!

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