Contracting in Africa: the highs and (not so) lows

contracting in Africa

29th March 2018

The continent of Africa truly is one of the wonders of the world that everyone should aim to experience in some form at least once in their lives. The sheer size of the continent means anyone visiting for work or pleasure will have the chance to experience a huge range of things, from widely diverse cultures to an array of natural beauties. And with a great climate and a relatively low cost of living we can see why so many people are drawn back to the continent time and time again.

Think one of the 54 countries of Africa could be the perfect place for your next move? Here’s what you need to know:

Where are the opportunities?

Africa is experiencing high levels of positivity across the board at the moment. For example, in South Africa alone, business confidence has risen 11 points in the first quarter of this year – indicating an impressive uptick in economic activity. One key contributor to this growth has been in new emerging and rapidly developing markets including technology, renewable energy and FinTech. Each of these sectors are currently facing a shortage of talent, however, leading to a surge in opportunities for international contractors with expertise in these key areas.

Given the nature of these emerging markets, there’s also a high demand for professionals with the knowledge and ability to help scale up businesses. Those able to demonstrate success in upskilling local talent will be in particularly high demand as companies increasingly seek to use expats to develop more sustainable talent pools.

Things to be aware of when contracting in Africa

There are, however, nuances across the continent that contractors should be aware of. Africa is vast and contractors will not only find that compliance needs vary from location to location, but they will also find their experience of one country is likely to be very different to the next.

For example, in Ethiopia there are a number of barriers that could impact your role. In particular, the controlled use of communication channels can result in the government shutting down internet access, phones or even news reports for days at a time. In comparison, operating in Tunisia is much more straightforward, with the country ranked 74 out of 189 economies for ease of doing business by the World Bank. As such, it’s important to do your research before making a move to one of the continent’s 54 countries, even if you have some prior experience in Africa.

In order to really feel at ease when making a move overseas, however, it’s important to seek out expert advice. At 6CATS International we have a wealth of experience in contractor management solutions across 70 different countries including many in Africa. Contact the team today to find out how we can help you.


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