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Train for skills, expert urges

NAIROBI August 17 – A Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) expert is urging players in the industry to concentrate efforts in training young people who would be recruited in the fast-growing industry.

In an interview with Capital News, President of Genesys Outsourcing, a leading outsourcing company in the US, Karim Morsli, said the outsourcing industry grows very fast and therefore requires more trained personnel.

Morsli said there is need to have people equipped with skills and who the BPO companies can recruit to enable the country become competitive in the industry.

“The one key area that really needs a lot of focus from a lot of actors, the BPO society, and the government is to make sure that this training issue is answered to,” said Morsli.

The outsourcing expert urged the youth to actively take interest in BPO saying they are the backbone of its success.

“It is very important that the youth in Kenya take active interest in BPO and seek training as it already coming up in some institutions,” he said.

Morsli who was in the country on a two week tour at the invitation of the BPO Society of Kenya (BPOSK), however noted that Kenya is on the right course in developing outsourcing business.

He said he believed that Kenya would soon outdo other fairly developed markets like Senegal and Ghana.

“My take on the state BPO in Kenya right now that it is still a very young industry and of all the other industries in Africa, it is the one of the most vibrant and has the most potential right now,” he said.

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According to him, Kenya has already put in place all necessary prerequisites for rolling out the outsourcing business in the region.

The incoming submarine fibre optic cables which are expected to be operational by the close of 2009 are, in his words, a good step towards achieving global connectivity standards.

His remarks come against a background of renewed government efforts to make Nairobi an ICT centre in Africa in line with Vision 2030.

Former Finance Minister, Amos Kimunya in his 2008/2009 budget allocated Sh900 million, for the construction of a BPO centre in Nairobi.

ICT Board CEO, Paul Kukubo shortly pledged to hit the ground running on the construction of the BPO Technology Park

Kukubo said they were proposing that the over 5,000 seat-park would be built on a 1,000 acre-piece of land in Athi River and was optimistic that it would be complete in the next two to three years.

“The timeline is ambitious but we (Kenya) cannot afford to wait any longer,” he said during an interview shortly after the budget in June. 

He also said physical and social amenities such as the back bone fibre optic cable, electricity grids, water and sanitation would be created within the park to attract investors in the area.

He stated that upon completion, the park will ensure the availability of internet service for the public as well as create about 10,000 jobs.

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