Stakeholders in the Information Technology (IT) sector, both public and private, have urged the government to firm up its commitments to the country’s Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
They have also highlighted the need for an association of BPO companies who would advocate for reforms and initiative that would help the government to create the enabling environment for the sector to thrive and attract the needed investment.
The advocacy was made at the Global Business Service Summit 2023, a sub-event of the Ghana Digital Innovation Week (GDIW).
The Summit was largely aimed at European IT-BPO organizations interested in learning more about Ghana’s potential as a worldwide destination for the GBS sector.
Mr. John Chamond Duti, Team Leader for GIZ’s Special Initiative on “Decent Work for a Just Transition,” said associations in Ghana are a force to be reckoned with because they act as pressure groups with good intent that state actors listen to act.
“In every entity there are likely to be gatekeepers, and gatekeepers are likely to be bottlenecks, and when you have an association and you identify such gatekeepers and bottlenecks, you can use your collective voice to push state actors to clear those bottlenecks,” he said.
Mr Richard Okyere-Fosu, Director General of National Information Technology Agency (NITA) said such a dialogue was commendable especially when the country currently has no guideline or policy framework for BPO’s who might want to operate in the country.
Mr David Ofori, the Director of Innovation at the National Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Programme (NEIP) said it was important for the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to be tasked with the responsibility of firming up government commitments and implementing action plans to develop the sector.
Presently, almost all the certification and enforcement of requirements for setting up a BPO in the country were within the purview of the Ministry, necessitating it (ministry) to supervise and regulate the BPO sector, he explained.
“Even if you go to the freezones authority and you require a DPC certification or NCE certification, you will have to go back to the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisations,” he said.
Madam Eugenia Okyere, Head, Research & Business Development at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) said it was important for government to ensure it does not create new structures to streamline the operation of BPO in the country.
Doing so, she indicated, would prevent the multiplicity of roles within the sector from creating loggerheads and loopholes for investors to exploit.
She said existing structures and institutions such as the Ghana Institiute of Languages could be well resourced and engaged in the process of training and recruitment of talents for the sector.