ITES to provide 45,000 jobs by 2011

Government is to harness the economic potential of Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) to create 45,000 jobs to reduce the unemployment situation in the country by 2011, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communication said on Saturday. He said that the growth of ITES has the potential to rake in additional 750 million dollars, by the same year, in a form of revenue with a multiplier effect on the economy leading to higher investment, increased job creation, and improvement of quality of life. Mr. Iddrisu disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Alhassan Umar, Director of ITES Secretariat, at a dinner organized by Rakes Company Limited (RCL) in Accra. RCL is a private company that out sources business operations to a third party company and organization, to manage within a designated period of time. The company currently manages nearly 150 staff of MTN, the multinational telecommunication service provider. Mr. Haruna Iddrisu said that government had tasked the Secretariat to assist in the development of a strong and vibrant private sector in the information and technology industry to enable Ghana attain its socio-economic agenda. "As part of government strategy, several programmes are being implemented under the eGhana project to make the country the preferred destination of ITES-Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) Companies in the continent," he said. Mr. Robert Sam, Managing Director of RCL said that the contributions made by the telecommunication industry to mainstream the development agenda of the country could not be overemphasized. "The responsibility rests upon us to explore innovative ways of harnessing the economic potential of Information, Communication and Technology to improve the socio-economic development of the country," he said. Mr. Sam called on institutions and stakeholders to take advantage of outsourcing facilities offered by the RCL stressing that it saved time, money as well as relived the human resource of companies, any shortage that might hit them. "Outsourcing provides the company the ability to concentrate on the core business instead of getting distracted by additional matters," he said. He appealed to government to give special incentives such as 'tax holidays' and to subsidise the energy sector and other production inputs in order to reduce cost and encourage wealth creation and even distribution in the country.