"It is very pathetic that even though software companies in Ghana handle over 80% of payrolls here, the Ghanaian government itself relies on foreign companies to prepare its payroll."
These were the words of Mr. Herman Chinery Hesse, the chairman of Soft Tribe, a software company in Ghana, who was talking on the theme, "Software Outsourcing and the Ghanaian Developer; a Reality or Distant Mirage", during the third edition of Citi Fm's corporate seminar series, held on Friday October 21st 2005, at Busy Internet in Accra.
According to Mr. Hesse, even though the Ghanaian government could boast of a policy framework for outsourcing and software development, its own actions or better still, inactions, coupled with the economic atmosphere, go a long way to sabotage these efforts.
The corporate seminar focused on the ICT sector in the country and specifically, on software development and outsourcing in Ghana.
In his introductory speech, Mr. Samuel Attah Mensah, Managing Director of Citi Fm, said that the Accra-based Fm station intended to stay as a radio station but organised such programmes to share knowledge and information, create networking and opportunities as well as bring together, stakeholders to share ideas to equip participants with positive attitudes that would enhance effective service delivery.
Professor Clement Dzidonu, an international consultant and Research Fellow at the International Institute for Information Technology, disclosed that in terms of policy framework, a lot had been achieved since 2003 but that the poor economic performance of Ghana would pave the way for the outsourcing industry.
He said, "No industry exists for all the computer scientists that we train here in Ghana, hence I wish to call for a change in our institutional set up as well as education syllabi since speaking good English is not the only way to access outsourcing; we need mathematics and logic as well."
Mr. Kwaku Ofosu Adarkwa, the Deputy Minister of Communications, who initially chaired the programme, commended Citi FM for their role as adult contemporary radio station and went on to challenge other media houses to come out with new roles to help with the formulation of policies. He said that radio stations should not only report but sensitise society to obtain information that would influence policy.
The Deputy Minister identified outsourcing and network development as ways of bringing progress in the private sector in Ghana and urged the private sector to take advantage of the human resource base of the country to go into the outsourcing business.