, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – Kenya is among global top five countries in an ongoing evaluation exercise to select a location for establishing a UN Global Shared Service Centre (GSSC).
According to a statement by the Kenya Mission to UNEP and UNON, out of the list of five, UNICEF will name top two locations by end of November and the winner will be announced at the end of December.
“After a rigorous global search process, Kenya has made it to the final five countries considered for hosting UNICEF’s GSSC,” the statement read.
Kenya was recommended as a possible country of establishing the GSSC after a global search that was seeking for a “combination of skilled workers, robust Internet connectivity, good safety and security and a business-friendly environment.”
The winning country will see the UN establish a Global Shared Service Centre to offer best returns on investments.
The country will benefit from reduced operating costs and access to qualified staff with a working environment that is conducive.
“This round-the-clock, 365-day-a-year centre will allow for off-shoring and centralisation of common back-office support services at a single location which are currently undertaken at the headquarters in New York, or in regional and country offices across the globe.”
It will also benefit from greater allocation of UNICEF’s funding for programmes.
Once operational, 350 staff will be hired to work at the centre.
Presence of big companies such as Microsoft, Google, Intel Corporation, General Electric, Cisco Systems, IBM and Motorola in Kenya, has placed it among the top five.
According to the consultants, the Government of Kenya has also demonstrated its determination to support business.
“With a government determined to positively transform the ease of doing business, and possessing one of the most competitive and highly regarded labour forces, plus an IT infrastructure, connectivity and fail-safe systems of a global standard, Kenya is poised to compete ever more effectively,” the statement indicated.
Kenya was also highly placed because of hosting one of the UN’s four headquarters in Nairobi, while the other three are in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
UNICEF’s technical team involved in the evaluation process has held meetings with Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed and Joseph ole Lenku, Permanent Secretaries Engineer Karanja Kibicho and Monica Juma among others.
According to UNICEF, “the bid to host the UNICEF GSSC signals the government’s commitment to enhancing the UN presence in Kenya and the start of a concerted effort to win more United Nations offshore business as technology and the need for cost savings combine to encourage UN agencies to move back-office hobs to cheaper locations.”