Sama Expands Investment in Kenya’s AI Sector, Boosting Country’s Position in Global BPO Market

Editorial Desk
By Editorial Desk 4 Min Read

Sama, provider of data annotation solutions for AI models, has identified Kenya as the ideal investment destination for machine learning.

The company plans to enhance its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) investments in the country, capitalizing on its growing Artificial Intelligence sector.

Sama has already engaged with key government players, including the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry and the BPO Association of Kenya.

This strategic collaboration enables Sama to use Kenya as a global delivery site, mitigating risks associated with machine learning models.

Annepeace Alwala, the Vice President of Global Delivery at Sama, emphasized the company’s commitment to Kenya. Alwala praised the quality talent in the country and highlighted Sama’s position as a key player in the data annotation market, providing top-notch computer vision data labelling services.

Sama’s services are trusted by over 25% of Fortune 50 companies, underscoring the company’s industry-leading expertise in delivering excellent machine-learning models.

Alwala also highlighted the rapid growth of Kenya’s BPO industry, estimating that it will create over one million jobs and generate more than $400 million USD in revenue. This expansion makes the industry a crucial economic player with the capacity to provide contemporary global solutions.

Kenya’s supportive government policies, substantial investment in infrastructure, and strong labor force have successfully attracted international companies seeking to establish their operations in Africa.

With competitive operational costs and a favorable business environment, these factors have resulted in job creation, economic growth, and increased global competitiveness.

Since its establishment in 2011, Sama has grown its labor force to over 3,000 employees, comprising individuals from Kenya and more than 20 other African countries.

The company, which focuses on annotating data for AI algorithms, provides a wide range of BPO services in Kenya, including data validation, curation, image and video annotation, customer service support, software development, and more for various industries such as autonomous transportation, MedTech, agriculture, and retail solutions.

Wendy Gonzalez, CEO of Sama, expressed excitement about Kenya’s potential to become a major player in the global BPO market. Gonzalez emphasized that Sama’s purposeful impact hiring process aims to connect individuals from low-income backgrounds, providing them with fair-paying entry-level jobs and empowering them to overcome poverty.

Over 25% of Fortune 50 companies, including tech giants like Google, NVIDIA, Microsoft, and eBay, trust Sama to deliver industry-leading machine learning models. Kenya’s skilled workforce, multilingual capabilities, and cultural compatibility contribute to its competitive advantage in the global outsourcing landscape.

Sama intends to work with the government and other stakeholders to establish Kenya as an international BPO destination.

In recent years, Kenya’s BPO industry has witnessed significant growth, attracting global businesses and creating numerous employment opportunities, thereby driving economic growth.

In 2020, Sama became the first AI data labelling company to receive B Corp Certification, demonstrating its commitment to creating a positive impact for employees, communities, customers, and the environment.

Additionally, Sama’s training and employment program were validated by a Randomized Controlled Trial led by MIT, further affirming its dedication to providing valuable opportunities for individuals in Kenya.

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