Uganda’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is registering increasing demand from offshore companies making it the fastest growing IT sector, the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U), has said.
The growth is largely driven by the increasing need for companies to outsource most parts of their process in a bid to cut costs, yet operate efficiently.
The news comes in just three years after Uganda introduced the BPO business to employ majority of its youthful IT graduates whom Indian BPO businesses have been eying because of their quality.
BPO is an emerging form of employment in Europe and America resulting from the expensive labour charges per hour, pushing businesses to contract professionals from offshore countries to carry out activities on their behalf at cheaper costs.
Most of those activities do not form the core businesses of the company’s operations but they are necessary for daily operations. They include research, back office operations, human resources, back office, customer service and managing call centres.
Speaking at a farmiliarisation tour for the new Information Communication Technology Minister on Monday, Mr James Saaka, the executive director of NITA-U, said government is setting up the environment to start marketing Uganda as the major BPO destination because the industry must operate at the most basic accepted global standards.
“What we just need now is an efficient ICT system which is the mandate of NITA-U and Uganda communications Commission,” he said. So far, NITA-U has trained over 3,000 Ugandan professionals and is looking at training another 3,000 in the next two financial years.
He also said the government is targeting upcountry BPO operators to fight digital marginalisation of the rural areas. The government intends to establish district business information centres as e-government facilities and resource centres where citizens can access services like e-tax, market information, weather information, among others.