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East Africa, the new outsourcing destination?


Being at an event without an aid to chat with usually makes me more of a social animal. So with scotch in my hands and socrates in my head, my attention was drawn to Uganda. Why Uganda? because this was the first time I was seeing another east African country projecting itself as an outsourcing destination. Least of all when it is shedding the all Africa stereotype of being just a wildlife tourist attraction. Seriously! we have only heard about Kenya trying to make the right noises in the BPO arena till now. Apparently, the east except Kenya and West Africa (MENA) region has been slower than others in surfing on the waves of outsourcing, but it seems like a high tide time for the region.

Par exemple Badru Ntege, whose company NFT Consult does human resource management is helping Uganda build business relations in India & Kenya. Uganda’s expected to grow at a much faster rate than any other country in the region over the next 3 years under a new programme “Turn to Uganda… Your Smart Shore Destination” which is by no means a stilted proposition but a fast approaching reality. He further adds Uganda has a great potential for wildlife and natural fauna .WHAT! sorry for the googly, of course I meant it has a great potential for becoming a preferred BPO destination in the East and Central African region. The event dredged on and I needed a drink.

Later in the evening, I happened to meet Kofi Worlanyo from Ghana, and as I joked with the idea of having an equivalent of NASSCOM in Ghana with him, I put my foot in my mouth when he handed me his card,

Kofi Worlanyo
(Ghana Association of Software and IT Service Companies)

The African countries are now beginning to position themselves very strongly as an outsourcing destination and the existing players in the market will be left with few options, but to move up the value chain and find newer niches for themselves or open up shops in these developing nations. Should we be worried about new competition from Africa? Time for another drink I’d say ..

On a more sober note opportunities abound at home, Indian companies are increasingly looking to acquire a global footprint and establish their leadership in other countries too.Since Thomas Friedman wrote “The World is Flat”, going global has an added charm to it.


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