How innovation council will increase capability of Uganda as business process outsourcing destination, innovation powerhouse
Uganda has identified Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and ICT Innovations as avenues that will create employment for the country’s youth.
BPO involves contracting nonprimary business activities to a third-party provider. For instance, functions outsourced may include human resources and accounting front office functions like customer care.
Recently, the Minister of State for ICT, Joyce Ssebugwawo, appointed a BPO and Innovation Council to work with the ministry to formulate strategies for creating jobs for the youth through ICT outsourcing and innovation.
Prof. William Bazeyo, the chairman of the BPO & Innovation council explained that Uganda has a young, energetic, eager, and trainable population ready to take on work in this industry and the ability to innovate at the level attained by any other youth internationally.
For example, he noted that Makerere University graduated 12,474 students during the recent graduation and their role as a council entails creating opportunities for this talent.
“A vast array of stakeholders has been consulted, and an implementation plan has been developed. This plan details deliberate, measurable, and time-bound steps to achieve this objective. According to the plan, 18,000 jobs will be created within the first 18 months of implementation,”.
According to the officials, the council is in the latter stages of developing a BPO policy with the regulatory environment analysis already completed.
The policy will guide the public and private sectors by providing a clear and reliable framework under which the BPO and innovations sectors will operate.
The council has completed a review to revamp the National ICT Initiatives Support Program (NIISP), which was instituted to create a systematic and sustainable enabling environment for; nurturing, promoting, and increasing the uptake of locally developed ICT innovations.
The NIISP identifies and supports innovative companies that need to be scaled up and need financial and non-financial support.
Apart from employment, the BPO and innovations industry has many other benefits, including the increased inflow of foreign currency, export promotion, and skilling of the workforce.
On February 24 2022, Lydia Schubert Nakayenze walked into the BPO & Innovation Council boardroom at the Nakawa Innovation hub for a vetting exercise, hoping to find support for her business in terms of visibility, market, and creation of synergies.
After rigorous vetting, her company OncaPlanta Uganda Limited, which develops animal, plant, and human health products from indigenous Ugandan plants, was chosen as one of Uganda’s representatives at the Dubai Expo 2020.
A few months after the expo, Nakayenze is glad her company was given that opportunity.