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Horizons provides global employment solutions allowing any business to easily hire employees in Africa — in full compliance with local laws and regulations. The Horizons Africa Professional Employer Organization (Africa PEO) solution means you can do hire employees in Africa without the need to set up a local subsidiary or entity.
This saves businesses time and money, and reduces the risk of non-compliance.
Hire in Africa , and pay employees through our platform or app.
Our Africa PEO solution is the most affordable on the market.
Fast Africa onboarding, hire in as little as 24 hours.
We draft compliant Africa labor contracts.
Offer superior local benefits, regardless of the country-of-hire.
It doesn’t stop with Africa — we hire employees in Europe, North America, or anywhere.
A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is a specialist HR business that provides various employment-related services to client companies.
In Africa, a PEO offers services such as payroll processing, benefits administration, tax compliance, and HR support. The PEO enters into a co-employment relationship with the client company, meaning that it takes on certain employer responsibilities for the client company’s team.
In short, the PEO acts as an outsourced HR department for the client company, allowing the client to focus on its core business activities. The PEO is paid a fee for its services, based either on the number of employees or a percentage of total payroll burden (I.e., the total cost of employment).
An Africa PEO is a common HR solution for global businesses that decide to hire in Africa. So, why hire in Africa?
Africa has become a major focus for international hiring and expansion over the last decade or so: It has been coined the ‘next Asia‘ or ‘next India‘ from an economic growth and foreign investment perspective.
In the 20th century, wealth in Africa (and the capital associated with it) was primarily attached to narrow extractive industries such as oil and diamonds. But now, businesses are increasingly focused on Africa as a new consumer market for their products.
Aside from the economic prospects of expanding into Africa, there are a few reasons why recruiting and hiring professionals in Africa could make sense for your business. Key reasons include:
Countries where English is very widely spoken, for this reason, include South Africa, Ghana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Botswana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and The Gambia.
This means it is usually extremely easy to recruit professionals in Africa who speak fluent English. Staff are almost always multi-lingual, as well, with other international languages such as French, Portuguese and Arabic being commonly spoken.
For example, the legacy of British schooling and education systems mean professionals from countries like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa integrate well with UK-based teams.
A similar principle applies to professionals from countries where French is dominant including Algeria, Tunisia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Once you have decided to hire in Africa, why settle on a PEO? There are several benefits of using a PEO solution in Africa. These benefits include:
For example, in Nigeria, aside from registration with federal and state tax authorities, it is necessary to register with, and hold contributions for, the National Pension Commission, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), the National Housing Fund (NHF)and the Industrial Trading Fund (ITF).
A business attempting to fully comply on its own is at serious risk of penalties. By contrast, an Africa Employer of Record can ensure full compliance with these requirements, and becomes liable for non-compliance.
For example, in Kenya, this means:
By contrast, running your own payroll through multiple local subsidiaries means managing payments every month in multiple different currencies (such as the Nigerian Naira and the South African Rand).
It is often easier for a PEO to to access substantial pension and other benefits schemes, than it is for an individual company.
This is because (a), an Africa PEO will often be a bigger employer in that individual country than an individual client company would be and (b), an Africa PEO will likely have the existing industry contacts to access better benefits packages.
With a geographical vastness that is hard to grasp, it is only natural that economic power in Africa is clustered in certain regions where major urban centres are located.
We set out some key features of those regions below.
There are also relatively strong financial services and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries. Multi-nationals basing a significant call center workforce in Cape Town include Lufthansa and Amazon.
The urban centres of the region, aside from Cape Town are Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and, to a lesser extent, Windhoek (Namibia).
There has also been a massive increase in direct foreign investment in the area (largely from China).
The diverse economic profile of the region includes significant agriculture and horticulture (especially in Kenya), a respectably-sized manufacturing, energy and tourism industries.
Kenya (the largest country in the region) has intentionally structured its economic strategy on being an outsourcing hub.
The East Africa urban grouping is centred on Nairobi (Kenya), and extends to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kampala (Uganda).
Read more about East Africa PEOs in our guide to Ethiopia PEO.
Aside from Lagos (Nigeria), other centres of economic activity are Accra (Ghana) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
While every Africa PEO will have a slightly different process, commonly the company will follow the following key steps:
The Africa PEO and the client company will discuss the best tools for expanding into or hiring in Africa. In many cases an Africa PEO solution will be appropriate, but in some cases local company incorporation may be advised.
The Africa PEO and the client company enter into an agreement about the precise scope of services to be offered. This is often a full Africa Employer of Record solution, but may in some cases be a more narrow recruitment or payroll solution.
The Africa PEO will recruit appropriate talent for the client company in whichever African location it seeks to expand into. The client company will be consulted, and have final say on recruits.
All staff will be provided with local law-compliant employment contracts. Payroll and tax information will be obtained to ensure that the employee is ready to start work and receiving payment.
The Africa Employer of Record deals with any employment issues (such as disputes) as they arise.
The Africa Employer of Record will renew contracts of employees when desired and oversee the termination or dismissal process where requested.
Africa Professional Employer Organization (PEO) solutions take the stress out of hiring employees in Africa. By using a PEO, any company, anywhere in the world can hire quickly, cost-effectively and in full compliance with Africa labor laws and regulations.
With Horizons, you get quick service, transparent pricing, and expert support.
An Africa Employer of Record (EOR) becomes the legal employer of your team in Africa and is legally responsible for tax withholding and social contributions.
An Africa PEO usually offers an EOR solution as part of its offerings, but often offers other services as well, such as visa support and recruitment.
The easiest way for international companies to hire in Africa is through an Africa PEO. This ensures that employees are onboarded quickly, cost-effectively and in full compliance with applicable labor laws.