What is the average salary in Africa?

by Time Doctor
average salary in africa

The average monthly salary in Africa is approximately 769 USD (US dollar), as per the exchange rates in April 2023. This is about 10 times lower than in the USA and UK with average salaries of 7,900 USD and 7,795 USD respectively.

However, the average salary in Africa varies greatly from country to country.

In this article, we’ll cover insightful statistics about average salaries in Africa. We’ll compare average salaries across different African countries and professions. We’ll also provide information about outsourcing to Africa, including countries to consider and reasons to outsource.

Table of Contents

Let’s begin.

What is the average salary in Africa?

The average monthly salary in Africa is approximately 796 USD, and the average annual salary is around 9,549 USD, according to exchange rates in April 2023. 

Let’s now compare the average and median salary for a few African countries. 

A. Average salary by country

Here are the average salaries in 15 African countries, starting with the highest salary:

CountryAverage Salary (per month, in USD)
Morocco1,910 USD
South Africa1,712 USD
Seychelles1,517 USD
Kenya1,089 USD
Namibia957 USD
Gabon925 USD
Nigeria729 USD
Rwanda628 USD
Zimbabwe600 USD
Burundi568 USD
Libya482 USD
Zambia339 USD
The Gambia255 USD
Ethiopia165 USD
Sudan61 USD

Source: salaryexplorer.com

Note: These salary averages are estimates. Due to financial inequality in Africa, many people’s average monthly earnings may be higher or lower than the average. Average salary figures can be affected by many factors, such as location, profession, or years of experience. 

B. Median salary in African countries

The median salary for a country indicates that 50% of people earn less than the median salary, and 50% of people earn more.

At the higher end of the median salary scale, Seychelles and Morocco have median salaries of approximately 1,347 USD and 1,644 USD, respectively.

Here’s a list of 10 other African countries with their median salary:

CountryMedian Monthly Salary (USD)
Central African Republic642 USD
Rwanda580 USD
Mozambique548 USD
Burundi520 USD
Guinea-Bissau493 USD
Ghana359 USD
Zambia310 USD
Madagascar257 USD
Democratic Republic of Congo238 USD
Malawi139 USD

Source: salaryexplorer.com

Note: These figures are only indicative. The actual median salary can differ because of job type, location, etc.

C. Average salary in Africa by profession

There is a lot of variation in average salary in Africa for different occupations. Here are a few sought-after professions in Africa and the salary an employee can earn in these sectors on average.

OccupationAverage Monthly Salary (in USD)
Agricultural Manager7,500 USD
Mining engineer6,074 USD
Structural engineer4,600 USD
Investment banker3,900 USD
Chartered accountant3,800 USD
Marketing manager3,500 USD
Financial auditor3,500 USD
Veterinarian2,000 USD
Merchandiser1,667 USD
Cashier440 USD

Source: africa.com

Note: Salaries can differ even within the same sector or profession. There could be a lower or higher salary based on job type (full-time, part-time), job title, work experience, etc.

D. Average salary in Africa compared to the world

The average salary in Africa is relatively lower than elsewhere in the world. Here are the average salaries in countries on other continents:

CountryAverage salary (per month, in USD)Average salary comparison to Africa (in %)
United States of America7,900 USD+942% (10.4 times higher)
Canada7,855 USD+936% (10.3 times higher)
United Kingdom7,795 USD+928% (10.3 times higher)
Belgium6,796 USD+797% (9 times higher)
Singapore6,228 USD+722% (8.2 times higher)
Australia5,530 USD+630% (7.3 times higher)
Iceland5,342 USD+605% (7 times higher)
Italy4,033 USD+432% (5.3 times higher)

Source: salaryexplorer.com

E. Comparing minimum wage in African countries

A minimum wage is the lowest compensation that employers must pay their employees by law. Most African countries have national minimum wage laws.

The three lowest minimum wages in Africa are:

CountryMinimum Wage
Sudan425 Sudanese pounds (0.71 USD) per month
Tanzania40,000 Tanzanian shillings (17.05 USD) per month
The Gambia50 Gambian dalasi (0.80 USD) per day 

Source: minimum-wage.org

The top four highest minimum wages in Africa are:

CountryMinimum Wage
Seychelles26.70 Seychellois rupee (2.07 USD) per hour
Libya450 Libyan dinars (95 USD) per month 
Morocco2,570.86 Moroccan dirham (253 USD) per month
South Africa23.19 South African rand (1.28 USD) per hour

Source: minimum-wage.org, businesstech.co.za

Note: These hourly minimum wages apply only to hourly workers, generally in the formal non agricultural sector. Some countries may have different laws for the minimum salary, wage per day, or compensation for different kinds of workers.

These figures are indicative of the low labor costs in Africa. Note that international businesses can utilize Africa’s cost-effective labor while positively impacting African economies.

According to the World Bank, impact sourcing (providing skills training and sustainable employment) is a socially responsible way to make use of Africa’s cost-effective labor.

That’s why organizations like the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) facilitate international economic co operation for Africa’s development.

Now let’s explore the four other key factors that make Africa a great choice for outsourcing.

4 major reasons to outsource to Africa

Here are four key benefits of outsourcing to Africa.

1. Low cost of living

In addition to low labor costs, African countries also tend to have a low cost of living.

Let’s look at some examples:

CountryCost of living (per person, in USD)Global cost of living ranking (1 = most expensive)Cost of living compared to USA (in %)Cost of living compared to UK (in %)
South Africa832 USD104th62% lower54% lower
Nigeria1019 USD69th54% lower44% lower
Uganda607 USD148th73% lower67% lower
Ethiopia675 USD134th69% lower63% lower
Algeria439 USD188th80% lower76% lower

Source: livingcost.org

Note: These cost of living figures are only estimates. 

According to worldpopulationreview.com, African countries make up nine of the 10 countries with the lowest median income globally. These are measured as Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in USD. This means the currency is converted to reflect what you could purchase with that amount in the US. 

A low cost of living also indicates that business expenses will be lower. This is another factor that makes Africa a cost-effective option for outsourcing.

2. Multilingual population

Millions of African people are fluent in languages widely spoken around the world.

Languages spoken in Africa that may be beneficial for outsourcing include:

  • English: Used across Africa by around 130 million people.
  • French: Spoken in 34 African countries by around 141 million people.
  • Spanish: Official language in Equatorial Guinea, spoken by around 1.1 million people.
  • Portuguese: Official language of six African countries, spoken by approximately 44 million people.
  • Arabic: Official language in 12 African countries, spoken by about 150 million people, especially in countries near the Middle East.

3. Large educated young population

Africa has a median age of 18 years, making it the youngest continent in the world. 

These youngsters are focusing more on education, and many of them are university graduates with bachelor’s degrees.

African countries feature in the following order for the best education systems in the world:

  1. Seychelles – 57th 
  2. Tunisia – 59th
  3. South Africa – 71st
  4. Zambia- 72nd
  5. Mauritius – 75th

After completing their education, up to 12 million young people enter the workforce. However, these people can only access about 3.1 million jobs annually.

According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), about 59.5% of the young people aged 15 to 34 are unable to find employment in South Africa.

These trends create a fantastic opportunity for international businesses to harness the potential of the vast pool of young and educated African people.

4. Technological development

African countries are rapidly investing in improving technological infrastructure and adopting technology at a larger scale.

Internet access and infrastructure in Africa have improved over the last decade with the introduction of submarine and fiber-optic internet cables. Many countries, such as Madagascar, Ghana, and South Africa, have excellent internet infrastructure and fast internet speeds.

Let’s find out which industries are outsourcing to Africa.

Top 3 industries outsourcing to Africa

Here are the top three industries outsourcing work to African countries:

1. Information technology (IT)

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) makes up 5% to 10% of all service exports in Africa. Governments tend to promote IT business because it goes hand-in-hand with technological development in their countries.

IT outsourcing for finance, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors is quite popular in Africa.

2. Data management

Data management services include data capturing, data labeling, and database management. Outsourcing data management can help improve businesses’ efficiency since employees can focus on their core activities the outsourcer handles their data.

Industries that rely on data management outsourcing include insurance, healthcare, telecom, and logistics. 

Employers can train the average worker to do low-skill data management jobs. But some jobs in this field require educated professionals. In either case, there are plenty of people in Africa capable of taking on this work.

3. Call centers

Driven by better internet access and telecom rates, African call center outsourcing has grown in recent years. Africa’s multilingualism makes it the perfect place to recruit call center agents. Popular countries for call center outsourcing include Tunisia, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, and Botswana.

According to WorldWide Call Centers, call centers in Africa are 30% to 40% more cost-effective than in America.

Wondering which are the top destinations in Africa to outsource to? 

Let’s find out.

4 best African countries for outsourcing

Let’s explore four African countries and what makes them especially attractive for outsourcing.

1. South Africa

South Africa is an outsourcing and international business hub located in sub Saharan Africa. It has a large English-speaking population and a convenient time zone, just two hours ahead of the United Kingdom (UK).

The highest salaries in South Africa tend to be in big cities like Cape Town (438,000 South African Rand – ZAR) and Johannesburg (403,000 ZAR).

The average salary in South Africa (1,712 USD) is still lower than in most of North America, Europe, and Oceania, making outsourcing to this country more cost-effective.

Additionally, the South African government implemented the Global Business Services Incentive program. This program provides financial incentives to international companies that create jobs in South Africa, such as through outsourcing. Eligible companies can receive a five-year grant for operational expenses.

2. Nigeria

Nigeria has the highest population of any African country, with over 200 million people. Around six hundred thousand university graduates enter the workforce yearly, many of whom are English speaking. 

This makes Nigeria an excellent choice for outsourcing customer service for US and European countries.

3. Ghana

Ghana is a coastal country in West Africa. The Ghanaian government offers incentives for businesses that outsource to Ghana. International companies don’t have to pay taxes outside of the country’s capital for the first 10 years. 

Also, its time zone is just two hours ahead of the UK, and its population is largely English speaking, making it particularly favorable for European outsourcing.

4. Mauritius

Mauritius is known for its political stability and economic growth. Mauritius’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by almost 5 billion USD between 2009 and 2019, although this number did decrease during the 2020 pandemic. Additionally, the GDP is expected to increase to approximately 16.83 billion USD by 2026.

The tax structure in this African country is regarded as business-friendly.  It has a mostly English and French-speaking population, making it an attractive outsourcing destination.

Wrapping up

Africa is a cost-effective outsourcing destination due to its low average salaries and cost of living. Governments generally welcome foreign business and investment that drives progress in African countries. In addition to this, Africa is home to an abundance of talented young people eager for job opportunities.

You can use this salary guide if you’re interested in outsourcing your business processes to Africa.

Check out this related post on outsourcing.

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