GHANA FIGHTS FOR OUTSOURCING BUSINESS

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Ghana has been working hard to have a business processing outsourcing (BPO) presence. In November 2005, Ghana commissioned Hewitt Associates of India to probe the country's key strengths and weaknesses in the global services sector.

The analysis of Ghana, as benchmarked against 11 established and emerging offshore international and regional destinations, showed that the country scored high on the size of its English-speaking population and competitive labor costs. However, it ranked poorly on the quality of infrastructure and demonstrated government focus.

Overall, there is significant potential for Ghana to scale up offshoring activities and position itself in niche markets of the BPO sector. The Hewitt study recommended that the key vertical market niches Ghana should focus on include medical transcription, coding, billing, data processing and customer contact processes.

Hewitt recommended that Ghana sell itself as a primary offshoring hub for Europe and the U.S.; as a third-party or subcontracting hub for more established offshoring destinations; as a third-party hub to South Africa in particular; and as a regional hub to West Africa.

The government of Ghana subsequently requested the World Bank Group's support in developing an IT-enabled services sector and was given a $40 million credit. South Africa leads the effort to expand BPO on the continent, other countries like Egypt and Kenya are also vying to attract foreign business.

GHP