Sama: Kenya emerging as prime machine learning investment hotspot

Sama, the leading provider of data annotation solutions that power cutting-edge AI models, has announced its strategic plans to strengthen Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) investments in Kenya.

This move comes following successful collaborations with key stakeholders in the national government, such as the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI) and the BPO Association of Kenya (BPOAK).

Sama’s decision to leverage Kenya as a global delivery site for de-risking machine learning (ML) models underscores the country’s growing prominence in the field.

Annepeace Alwala, the Vice President of Global Delivery at Sama, confirmed the company’s commitment to these corporate plans and highlighted the expansion of their service offering to include data annotation solutions.

“In Kenya, thanks to quality talent, Sama, is today a key player in the data annotation market providing best in class computer vision data labelling services. These services are delivered under the Sama data curation, annotation and validation business lines which we deliver for more than 25 percent of Fortune 50 companies who trust Sama to help them deliver industry-leading Machine Learning models,” Alwala said. 

She added: “The local BPO Industry is growing at a steady rate with the BPO Association of Kenya estimating that we will jointly create more than one million jobs against more than $400 million in revenue. This makes the industry an important economic player with contemporary global solutions provision capacity.” 

With supportive government policies and substantial infrastructure investments, Kenya has become an enticing destination for international companies seeking a foothold in Africa. The country’s robust labor force, competitive operational costs, and favorable business environment have further contributed to its appeal, resulting in job opportunities, economic expansion, and improved global competitiveness.

One such company capitalizing on Kenya’s advantages is Sama, which established its operations in the country in 2011. Over the years, Sama has significantly expanded its workforce, employing over 3,000 individuals locally and from more than 20 other African nations.

Sama specializes in data annotation for artificial intelligence algorithms, providing computer vision solutions that power AI and machine learning models.

In Kenya, Sama offers an extensive range of BPO services catering to various industries. These services encompass data validation, data curation, image and video annotation, content moderation, customer service support, data entry, software development, and 3D Point Cloud annotation. Industries benefiting from Sama’s solutions span autonomous transportation, MedTech, agriculture, and retail, among others.

“Kenya has the potential to become a major player in the global BPO market, and we are excited to be a part of this growth. For over a decade, we have provided individuals who are most likely to be excluded from formal sector jobs,” Wendy Gonzalez, Sama Chief Executive Officer said.

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