African American Business Link
Local content * International context * Since 1994
AABL News Digest
Outsource This, Webmaster!
Outsourcing on the Web has become a major international business. The primary destination for Web work has been India, though the Philippines and China are also players.

The AABL directory itself has numerous examples of non-US based companies offering goods and services. Because our policy is to be open to nearly all, we do not block foreign companies for competing for your dollars.

The principal advantage of offshore companies is, of course, low labor cost. Writers, designers and technicians all make substantially less in the countries mentioned and elsewhere. The special advantage of India and the Philippines is their broad use of English as a business language.

Interestingly, these companies do suffer from certain linguistic issues, mainly related to national speech patterns. Reading an Indian or Filipino site for a few minutes usually reveals the origin as their quirks are different from our quirks. Sometimes it's just funny; sometimes the meaning becomes unclear. Over time, however, these differences tend to be reduced, and they can be further reduced by training.

One wonders how long it will take for African companies to form to exploit the widespread use of English on that continent, coupled with a similar labor cost advantage. Today there is an infrastructure problem, but there is no shortage of educated writers and designers. In fact, some countries have a lot of college-educated taxi drivers, frustrated at lack of employment options. A generator, a satellite uplink and a laptop are the only requirement to play in this global market.

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