You expect the cost of labour in some developing and underdeveloped countries to be much cheaper than in developed countries, but the reverse is the case in some countries in Africa. Over the years, we have seen Thailand and Indonesia’s economies blossom because lots of industries in developed countries have moved most of their main manufacturing companies there due to the cheap cost of labour. Even now, the cost of labour in China is still far cheaper than most countries in Africa.
The question then is, “What exactly is the problem?” or “Why is labour in these African countries higher than most developed countries?” I know you might be thinking it is due to unstable electricity in those countries, but I can tell you, the answer is far from it.
The reason is the mentality or mindset of people living in those African countries. They fail to understand the principles of turnover, rather they feel there is a diamond mine or golden tree in developed countries where people can pluck money. Little do they know that most people in these developed countries work twice (or more) as hard as they do to make those Euros, Pounds, or Dollars.
When opportunities are presented to people living in African countries by a company from a developed nation, the first thing that comes to their mind is how to make a quick buck from that one business, rather than building a relationship first before gradually increasing their charges. You will be surprised to know that professionals in these developing and underdeveloped countries jump on international jobs sites to see how much professionals in developed countries charge for the same jobs. Even more surprisingly, they then charge 5–10 times more than the actual cost price they would charge for the same amount of labour in their country of residence.
What they fail to realise is that the standard of living in developed countries is far more expensive than their society. Although the professionals in developed countries make money in Dollars, Euros and Pounds, they also pay huge bills and taxes which helps to maintain the living standards of their country. For example, the cost of renting a 3-bedroom apartment might be between AU$250–400 per week in Australia, whereas the cost of renting a similar property in a developing or underdeveloped country is between AU$20–40 per week. It is clear that those in developed countries pay 10 times more for accommodation than people in underdeveloped or developing societies.
I hope professionals in these underdeveloped and developing countries realise their mistakes early in life and understand why most developed countries initially focused on China for labour before realising there are even better opportunities in countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.
Written by Chris Sam