Uganda appeals for more BPO, ITES investors

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: NASSCOM president Som Mittal andminister of IT Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda . By BiztechAfrica
NASSCOM president Som Mittal andminister of IT Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda

By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda

Uganda has once again reiterated its goal of being East Africa’s main hub for BPO and ITES sector. This was noted at the just concluded BPO and ITES regional conference held in Kampala.  The conference was organized by NITA-U partnering with UBPOA (Uganda Business Process –Outsourcing Association) and brought together players from across the globe to showcase what the region has to offer in the sector

The chairman for UBPOA, Badru Ntege, wooed the players in the sector who were present like NASSCOM (The premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the IT-BPO industries in India) to invest in the country. He said: “Uganda offers a unique set of incentives and opportunities to the international outsourcing community as compared to other outsourcing destinations…100% equity ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and divided among others”

He also adds that the country has a large talent pool of English speaking cost competitive and skilled workforce, a growing number of small BPO companies and reliable telecom infrastructure to service the outsourcing community in a very effective manner.

UBPOA chairman also encouraged countries to take advantage of the numerous benefits that accompany BPO so as to reap big from them. “Many countries with lower cost operations and skilled workforce are taking full benefits of the opportunities arising in the BPO sector.” He also adds that this sector is sector is set to experience tremendous growth in Uganda over the next few years, with numerous new firms capitalizing on opportunities such as call centers, operations and providing back-office services to foreign-based companies.

Ntege also complained of the negative image perception that Uganda faces when major international business projects are being developed in East Africa and the region as a whole. “We have seen the preference for our neighbors like Kenya despite their challenges when it comes to elections. Therefore we urge the government to undertake efforts to building positive image of the country and marketing Uganda’s potential to the international business providers.”

The same views were echoed by the executive director to NITA-U James Saaka, “We need to take brand building more seriously so as the country can reap big from this sector.”

Saaka also adds that they are working towards developing and operationalizing BPO standards, accreditation and regulations. At the same time the executive director points at the internet bandwidth cost and its’ infrastructure reliability which he notes that they are working round the clock to ensure that the cost is lowered and it becomes more reliable. “You all know witnessed a few months ago when we had internet disruption due to the damage of the sea cable at the Kenyan coast and that is why we are looking at other alternative sources like Tanzania and South-Sudan so as such scenarios are mitigated,” he noted.

The government which was represented by the minister of IT Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the conference emphasized its commitment in the development of the sector. “The government’s vision and strategy is to establish and promote the BPO industry for job creation and socio-economic development and the government has invested high amounts of money in ICT infrastructure like the national backbone infrastructure (NBI) with the aim of bringing internet costs down and also supporting initiatives like BPO industry.

Rugunda also indicated that the government will take serious the challenge of the country’s image branding around the globe. “The government would further undertake marketing and branding of Uganda as a preferred BPO destination in Africa.”

The minister also notes that in order to ensure increased employment creation, the government offered to provide targeted incentives to BPO operators throughout the country. However he was quick to caution, “The intention is not to subsidize or protect nonperforming private sector from competition but to nurture a budding industry to some desired level of maturity by addressing key constraints such as taxes that may stifle innovation and suffocate this infant industry”

Rugunda also challenged the players in the Indian BPO sector led by NASSCOM to invest in the enticing Ugandan economy. “One of the most resilient partners in our economy have been the Indians, and I believe that you are not an exception because I don’t see why you cannot succeed if your brothers have managed to make it big” he urged.

NASSCOM president Som Mittal highlighted the benefits that BOP sector has to an economy. He noted, “In India, IT-BPO revenue aggregate now amounts 7.5% GDP and this is about 100billion dollars. Besides, the industry employs over 12 million people and the most interesting part is that the industry continues to progressively grow.”



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Cashless Africa 'achievable through partnerships'

Daniel Monehin, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard met with Norbet Mumba, Deputy Executive Director, AFI The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) renewed its partnership with MasterCard at the African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI) meeting held in Dakar, Senegal this week.  Read More

ICT CS launches free Internet for Schools programme in Machakos County

Kenya’s ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has lauded Airtel for its commitment to support e-learning in Schools by providing free internet connections to schools in Kenya through the company’s Free Internet for Schools programme.      Read More

BITC launches online trade portal

As part of efforts to improve trade facilitation, the Botswana government, through the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), has launched a web-based platform designed to help improve the ease of doing business. Read More

Ghana MPs struggle with digitised chamber

Ghana’s parliament almost came to a standstill earlier this week, when members of parliament battled to make use of new digitised desks installed in the chamber. Read More

Over 10,000 applications for BTCL shares

Batswana have come out in record numbers to submit their Offers for BTCL shares, with around 1,000 applications per day at Barclays Bank branches across Botswana. Read More

KRA announces key Customs reforms

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has announced a variety of reform measures geared at enhancing national security and efficiency in Customs management. Read More

N780b fine: MTN opts for out-of-court-settlement with NCC

MTN Nigeria has asked for an out-of-court settlement in the suit it filed against the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). Read More

MTN fine hearing adjourned

The court hearing on the fine imposed by Nigeria’s NCC against MTN has been adjourned to March. Read More

Nigerian ComTech minister, stakeholders hold communications retreat

Nigerian ICT stakeholders are set for Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, this weekend to attend the 2016 Communications Sector Retreat. Read More

Lagos advises telecoms contractors to display project info board

The General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), Mr. Babajide Odekunle, has warned contractors handling ongoing infrastructure projects for telecoms firms in the state to display Project Information Boards. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage EnterpriseSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks Unlimited

FEATURED STORY

Viber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats Viber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats

Viber, one of the leading messaging and calling apps with more than 664 million unique users worldwide, has opened its latest social channel ‘Public Chats’ to partners in Africa and the Middle East. 

IN DEPTH

Poised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year WinnerPoised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year Winner

Roshi Motman is not your average CEO. Since taking up the reins as the first female CEO of Tigo Ghana in 2014, she has led the Tigo brand through a remarkable transformation.