Business Development Science and Technology

Inaugural Business Process Outsourcing and Contact Centre Conference for Zimbabwe

Kazembe Kazembe

By Joyce Mukucha

The Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) has partnered different stakeholders in hosting the Zimbabwe’s first Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Contact Centre Conference in an effort aimed at forming part of the first large scale developmental initiative that will position Zimbabwe as a global BPO and Contact Centre destination.

The BPO general outsourcing concept is one of the fastest growing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) based industry subsets that are creating jobs upon which the new economy is placed, it has been learnt.

The impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is believed to lead to the economic development of the Zimbabwean nation. In an increasingly digital and competitive global marketplace, the outsourcing model used by the Omni Contact was an efficient and proven way of managing business processes.

Officiating at the BPO and Contact Centre conference held in Harare on the 4th of September 2019, the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe who was the guest of honour said Government was committed to playing a complimentary role in the development of the local BPO industry.

“We have recognised that this industry has the potential to be one of the major drivers of inclusive growth in the country. To this extent, through the implementation of effective and appropriate policies, my ministry aims to develop an enabling environment to the creation of a knowledge based society which benefits key economic players.

“In today’s global economy, BPO as a concept has become one of the main drivers for economic growth especially in developing countries like Zimbabwe. I believe that the conference would go a long way in contributing to economic recovery and is also in line with the Zimbabwe is open for business philosophy that has been spearheaded by our head of the state President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” he said.

He alluded the government will not stop as the industry has the potential to contribute to economic growth and employment creation in the country. The BPO private sector has been urged to keep growing with global trends with regards to outsourcing and contact centres.

BPO expert Rinos Mautsa articulated that government should commit to the BPO so that a knowledge based society can be formed as well as leading to the formation of more ICT driven services to become the pillar of fourth industrial revolution being altered. He mentioned that capacitation of the sector in this country can have broad economic sways for the local economy.

“Zimbabwe is ready for the BPO market, there is need for many players to invest in the industry. So let’s come together for Zimbabwe’s destination and attack the global market together. There is need for government to venture in and support in research and developmental skills that are required and training that is needed as well as motivating those businesses that are already initiating in this market,” he said.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Senior Programme Officer, Mr Adolphus Chinomwe said government should take deliberate steps to make sure that it supports the BPO so as to attract investment from global players, investors and local players with in house and outsourcing contact centres, developmental agencies, and government leaders among others.

“Transformational advances in transportation, product information and communication technologies has accelerated the concept of BPO in various industries. For example global internet, enormously secured data storage, software, collaborative technologies have revolutionised global information and communication enabling outsourcing and off-shoring in the information technology industry.

“There are lots of vulnerabilities in this kind of employment particularly in this sector. There is a strong integration between human beings and technology but we need to ensure that that all our means of technologies are up to date. If we talk of the customer experience, it stirs an ability to spend, so we are looking for a balanced approach between the objectives of business and government to make sure we are able to allow jobs, enterprises, firms, and people to exist,” Chinomwe said.

With the rapid development of information technology, BPO is increasingly becoming the delegation of the one or more IT intensive business processes to an eternal provider that in turn owns ministers and managing selected processes based on measurable performance.

Global BPO industry is estimated to rebid with around US$6 trillion and Zimbabwe has been said to be on the right point to effectively tap into this lucrative industry. The Zimbabwe BPO and Contact Centre Conference forms part of the first destination large-scale developmental initiative and the position of Zimbabwe as a global BPO. The BPO sector which first emerged in Northern economies has quickly established itself as a key business strategy in the last decade. Today BPO has become a global phenomenon encompassing a large number of countries across the entire world. The industry has grown in leaps and bounds and as its size increases its competitive advantage also improves.

Stakeholders which include Econet Wireless, Steward Bank, Omni Contact, and AMEYO among other joined the occasion.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende