Promoting Rwanda as a top location for outsourcing ICT and business processes
According to the Rwanda Development Board, the business process outsourcing sector (BPO) is expected to become the fastest growing segment of the Rwandan economy. The German Outsourcing Association, supported by Invest for Jobs, has assessed the opportunities that the Rwandan market offers for businesses in the BPO and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors.
Due to its political stability, its effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and clear strategies to develop its national economy, Rwanda has gained increasing interest by international investors. Prior to the pandemic, foreign investment has almost tripled over a ten-year period until 2018. Now, the government is actively promoting the sectors of BPO and ICT to further grow investment into the country.
Business process outsourcing is a practice in which a business subcontracts another company (often abroad) to manage and operate processes such as customer-related services or back office operations. It offers a particular opportunity for Rwanda. The country is landlocked with a comparatively small market. Exporting services enables global market reach and has become increasingly easy thanks to digitalisation.
The German Outsourcing Association has previously assessed seven countries as possible destinations for business process outsourcing. The Digital Skills Accelerator Africa (DSAA) has commissioned the association to include Rwanda, and in the near future also Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire into the series. Rwanda has now become the eighth country and appears to be faring quite well:
“The recent covid crisis revealed the location concentration risk that many companies face. Rwanda’s impressive management of the crisis has not only allowed it to keep its death toll relatively small but Rwanda is also one of the few countries that have continuously been on the EU’s list of safe countries. Combined with an infrastructure and regulatory environment that enables reliable delivery even from home office, many companies have shown renewed interest in Rwanda. In terms of sectors we see a lot of interest in generic call centers as well as tech support and niche sectors such as app testing and AI.” - Tim Gengnagel, Head of Deal Accelerator Division at Rwanda Development Board, quoted in the Outsourcing Destination Guide Rwanda.