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Uganda Hopes to Become a Market for Outsourcing

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

For years, many western companies have sent important business services to India, where they can be done at lower cost. This is called outsourcing, and it has brought jobs to India. Other countries have seen the economic gains from outsourcing and are seeking to copy the Indian model.

For example, officials in Uganda have opened an outsourcing center to train people in Internet technology. Their aim is to create jobs for Ugandans. 26-year-old Flavia Aliteesa studied information technology in school. Today, she is happy to have a job but does not perform high-level IT work. She says many of her former classmates have been unemployed for years.

Flavia Aliteesa works for a company called Techno Brain, it offers business process outsourcing, or BPO, to foreign companies. The Ugandan government hopes more companies like Techno Brain will begin operating in the country.

Uganda supports its small but growing BPO industry by giving free office space and Internet service in Kampala. The government has trained hundreds of people in the skills that BPO companies need, and plans to train thousands more. Many people in Eastern Africa speak English. The area is in the same time zone as Europe. Rogers Karebi leads the head of the Uganda BPO Association. He says labor costs in other countries are growing.

A number of company, he says, are looking for lower cost choices for outsourcing. There are some big differences between Uganda and India however. The cost of Internet service in East Africa is higher. But most experts agreed that the cost of Internet service will, in time, go down.