The Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana’s 2022 Tech Entrepreneurs Forum was a success, revealing many perspectives on the issue of remote Information Technology (IT) service delivery, difficulties, and prospects in Africa.
The forum tackled issues relating to challenges and opportunities in the remote IT service delivery, particularly, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), a process of contracting standard business functions to a party outside of the company to handle.
The two-day forum brought together experts and businesses that provides remote office spaces, technology hubs/parks, BPO service providers, and offshore remote IT services, shaping discussions about opportunities for technology entrepreneurs and graduates. Educational institutions, students, and professionals also spoke about how to prepare for remote work chances.
Executive Director, Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana, David Gowu in a remark, noted that in order to capitalize on the opportunities, capacity must be built, and that his organisation has focused on training young people, youths, and even adults, including teachers, to address Ghana’s ICT human resource constraints.
He added that IIPGH collaborates with other organisations, particularly academia, to channel education through what it calls the Industry-Academy Tech Dialogue, which brings together students, policymakers, and others to champion ICT development to create opportunities for youths and industry players. “For industry-led public education, professionals provide ICT education through weekly newspaper articles, web portals, television and radio talk shows, and other means,” he added.
International Management Advisor, AFOS Foundation, Mike Loose complimented efforts in ICT education but was quick to add that the country must increase its efforts in strengthening the capacity of its population, particularly youths, and collaborate to boost growth in the tech field.
“You cannot see each element in isolation, we have capacity building for a purpose, and it is to help students or graduates move from capacity building and from being students into an employee or entrepreneurs. As one of the speakers said about evolution, there is an evolution in capacity building. It must be for a certain purpose and once you complete capacity building it should result in something and that is ideally employment for personal benefit and the benefit of the nation,” he said.
The Guest Speaker for the event Mr. Lars Johannisson, CEO Africa, Teleperformance in his remarks noted that Africa is the second-largest continent in terms of area and population, as well as being a diverse and economically developing region, therefore the continent should leverage growth in the tech space.
“Academic organizations, private institutions, NGOs, and government all have a role to play, and we all need to work together on a common agenda.” The telecommunication industry had been successful because they have certain parameters of standardisation that they align with. To innovate and be consistent, same applies to this, and as a country and as a continent, let us have one voice, one narrative on what to bring unto the table when it comes to remote service delivery which is a fast-growing industry particularly for developing countries,” he added.
Mr. David Ofori, Operations Manager at Ghana Digital Centres Limited (GDCL) on his part elaborated what government is doing in terms of infrastructure towards BPO services. He added that in the current state of unemployment, BPO service delivery or remote working options are worth exploring, he stressed that the right infrastructure is required to make this possible.
“We also are planning to have regional centers across the country which will help expand the BPO infrastructure. Ghana is in the right time zone, we speak english, and we have at least a very youthful population who are well talented and well educated and that means that it is the right place and a very favorable destination for BPO activities. We have a very stable political environment. We are also the headquarters for the secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area which means that any BPO activity that comes here can launch on the back of Ghana and expand to the continent,” he said.
Director-General, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), an agency responsible for implementing Ghana’s IT policies, Richard Okyere-Fosu said his outfit has plans in line to register all IT professionals and certify the companies, to sanitize the space. He stated that Ghana has established a government cloud infrastructure and that the country is open to entrepreneurs wishing to set up there.