Egypt has been there for quite some time. Now more African countries are going to join the BPO bandwagon. Kenya has been smart enough to pick up one or two BPO secrets from Egypt. Now Ghana is the latest country, which is in the race in a big way. A prominent US-based BPO advisory company, Avasant has been hired by Country’s Ministry of Communications. The company has been trusted with the responsibility of promoting Ghana as the new age BPO destination. “Avasant is on a two year contract to gather data on the BPO market in the country and design promotional tools to market Ghana's BPO potential both here and abroad,” Executive Secretary of the Ministry's Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) Secretariat, Mr Alhassan Umar, informed the media in Accra on Tuesday. The deal, which was concluded in August this year, is a part of the World Bank funded E-Ghana project, which aims to establish electronic governance, electronic voting and other sophisticated systems in Ghana
Mr Umar further disclosed that BPO industry has been pumping some US$45 million into Ghana’s economy per year and the country targets to stretch this to a point where BPO inflow will be between 60 and 70 million dollars a year. This is only the short term plan and long term target involves securing a BPO inflow of one billion dollars per annum. “We hope to attract at least 10 major BPO companies from Europe and US to Ghana and we also want to get more local entities like banks and insurance companies, as well as companies from within the sub-region to transfer their back office jobs to BPOs in Ghana,” Umar reflected while discussing about the long and short term plans of his ministry.
So far as BPO services are concerned, the African countries prove to be quite cost effective. Furthermore, in these African countries you can capitalize on linguistically capable and savvy human resources. Ghana is no exception. In addition of offering cost effective BPO solutions, the country has a huge number of educated, French speaking Ghanaians that can be inducted into BPO sector. However, to emerge as a top BPO destination, the country still needs to improve on a number of areas like: relaxing business registration system, offering more tax incentives, availability of huge redundant fiber optic cables etc.
Ghana has all the right kind of resources for attracting all sort of French BPO jobs including French call centers, feels Mr Muralidhar Thata, Avasant Country Manager for Ghana. In addition to that Mr Thata claimed the country has huge potentials in the areas of graphic design, business enquiry and legal processes outsourcing among others. According to him, the challenges that the country is currently facing include lack of exposure, lack of people’s awareness about the potentials of BPO industry and lack of coordination between various areas of IT enables BPO services.
Avasant has started working on the project from October 12, 2009 and their first phase of work involves developing a strategy report and a road map for the re-branding and promotion of the E-Ghana brand in Ghana, other West African countries, East Asia, Europe and the US. On completion of the first phase of planning, the US-based consultant will come up with promotional packages that would include websites, magazines, flyers and postcards for portraying Ghana’s BPO potentials before the world.