With an estimated 9,000 BPO jobs currently in the country, Kenya ICT Board Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Kukubo said the input of international companies looking to boost the BPO sector will see numbers rise in a short period.
“Right now we are in the process of discussing and concluding three large deals in outsourcing. Those deals won’t stream in until a year or so. There are companies that have set up impact sourcing to provide local solutions,” he said.
He said as the ICT sector makes a shift to developing more entrepreneurs, the Kenya ICT Board has taken steps to facilitate more self sufficient job creation through initiatives like the recently launched Software certification project (dubbed Chipuka).
“The Chipuka project is actually aimed at raising the quality of software certification in this country to the extent where we have a global standard. It is aimed at providing a test of software developers who have been doing pretty good software but need validation,” he said.
A study carried out in 2011 by the Kenya ICT Board and International Data Corporation, revealed the skills gap in software development existing in the country, despite the high demand which often forces companies to source these skills internationally.
A pilot exam will be ready by March 2013 while the certification should be fully operational in Kenya by October 2013 in collaboration with US based Carnegie Mellon University.
Chipuka was one of the initiatives that came about from the Connected-Kenya Summit 2011 that converged public and private sector players to discuss key priority issues and identify areas for cooperation to improve service delivery to the public through ICT.
Kukubo, who was speaking at the launch of this year’s Connected-Kenya Summit, emphasised the need for local and international partnerships along with the input of the private sector to solve most of the existing ICT problems in the country.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, who also spoke during the launch, said 34 percent of the population having Internet access is not enough if Kenya is to meet the Vision 2030 goals.
“We need to work together to harness our energies across the private and public sector divide. It is critical that all Kenyans have access to adequate information. ICT will help us achieve Vision 2030 and is the most important pillar in achieving Vision 2030,” he said.
The theme for the Connected Kenya Summit 2012 is Knowledge and beyond, with key issues to be tackled surrounding access to information and how it can be harnessed to create a high-skilled productive citizenry.