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

Gabon’s Africa ICT forum promotes Pan-Africanism

Pan-Africanism, a highly-publicised ideology initiated by Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and Thabo Mbeki’s African Renaissance ideals were in spotlight at this week’s ICT forum held in the Gabonese capital Libreville. Read More

Rwanda, ICDL to advance digital literacy

A Memorandum of Understanding signed this week between the Government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Youth and ICT, and ICDL aims to advance digital literacy in Rwanda.   Read More

Rwanda’s MYICT wins continental social media award

Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) has won the continental social media award in the category of Government/Public Sector in the annual Social Media Awards Africa (SMAA). Read More

Botswana Government to provide computerised driver-testing vehicles

Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communication has officiated at the groundbreaking for the country’s first computerised driver training facility.  Read More

Albany CTG, Microsoft, collaborate on School of Government Program

The University at Albany’s Center for Technology in Government (CTG) has announced its collaboration with Microsoft Corporation to deliver executive level training to government leaders in Africa as part of the Microsoft 4Afrika’s School of Government (SOG) program.  Read More

NCC didn’t stop APC’s fund raising platform, says Juwah

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it did not order GSM operators to shut platforms used by political parties to raise funds.  Read More

Togo’s new tax on incoming international calls angers consumers

A new tax on incoming international calls imposed by the government of Togo has angered consumers and generated heated debate. Read More

NCC EVC says agenda accomplished

Dr.Eugene Juwah (left), Mrs. Abigael Sholanke and Mr.Tony Ojobo of NCC and Mr. Mike Awoyinfa, former MD of The Sun Newspaper The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr Eugene Juwah, says he has attended to all the items he listed as his six-point agenda when he was appointed CEO. Read More

Gabon to deliver e-visas, launches immigration website

People wishing to travel to the Central African nation of Gabon can now apply for visas online. Read More

Break-ins threaten Mascom Kitsong centre project

As Mascom Wireless embarks on its fourth year of bringing ICT to the marginalised people of Botswana, Mascom says the greatest impediment to their efforts are the break-ins that are rampant at the Kitsong establishments. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

UCC launches 2015 ACIA awardsUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards

Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.

IN DEPTH

Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up

Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.

COMPANY NEWS

Albany CTG, Microsoft, collaborate on School of Government Program

The University at Albany’s Center for Technology in Government (CTG) has announced its collaboration with Microsoft Corporation to deliver executive level training to government leaders in Africa ...