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12.06.2012 Business & Finance

Businesses Must Adopt ICTs To Improve Efficiency

By Jessica Acheampong - Daily Graphic
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Businesses in the country must adopt technological applications to run their businesses in a bid to increase the efficiency and productivity of their operations, the Director of Investor Services Division of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Mr Augustine A. Otoo, has stated.

He said through the use of technological applications, businesses are able to effectively undertake a number of projects such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) to increase their profitability.

Mr Otoo made these observations at the Innovation Week 2012 Programme, which is an initiative of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT in Accra.

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), he explained, primarily refers to the outsourcing of business processing services to an outside firm and the replacement of in-house services with labour from an outside firm.

Elaborating on the types of BPO’s available for prospective businesses; he said companies can take advantage of “Back Office Outsourcing which includes internal business functions such as human resource, finance, accounting etc. Front Office Outsourcing also includes customer- related services such as contact centre services.”

He added that more often the business processes are information technology based and are referred to as IT Enabled Services (ITES) BPO.

Mr Otoo also hinted that the growth of the BPO sector presents several investment opportunities including VSAT services, Call Center Activities, E-commerce and Legal Database Services, Logistics Management Services, Transaction Processing, Back Office Operations, and Internet Service Provision Service among others.

He said the eGovernance project was an initiative by the government with funding from the World Bank to generate growth and employment by leveraging Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and public private partnerships in order to develop the IT Enabled Services industry and contribute to improved efficiency and transparency of selected government functions through e-government applications.

Mr Otoo also explained that the Development of the ICT Park is expected to generate 10,000 jobs as well as an enhanced IT infrastructure, internet connectivity and opportunity for IT start-up firms to set-up at the ICT Park.

“GcNet was established as a PPP to develop and operate a customised electronic system for processing trade and customs documents. The GcNet uses a front-end and back-end electronic messaging platform, allowing for a 24/7 processing of declarations,” he said.

He said, GcNet, established in November 2000, is credited with improved clearance of goods at the Kotoka Airport and Sea Ports, online issuance of permits, licenses and exemptions through the TradeNet Platform, the introduction of an enhanced transit tracking module and also automation of the domestic tax unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Registrar General’s Department.

The government, he said, also recognises the importance of having a competitive investment environment and has therefore pursued a number of programmes in this direction which includes a review of the Legal and Regulatory framework, policies to reduce the Cost and improve the Ease of Doing Business as well as Infrastructure Development.

The Innovation Week is an annual event aimed at showcasing ICT innovations in Ghana and her ECOWAS neighbours since ICT is key for economic and social development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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