The Dutch government has made a step toward reviving Kenya's stalled ICT outsourcing industry by contributing US$1.2 million to support 33 tech companies seeking to provide services internationally.
The money was provided as part of a joint effort with Kenya's Ministry of ICT and ICT Authority. The funds support a three-year project to benefit Kenya's ICT companies by providing training and advisory services in export marketing and access to finance.
"Building the capacity of Kenyan ICT companies hinges on our ability to not only put the right policies and strategies in place, but in forming definitive partnerships," said Victor Kyalo, CEO of the Kenya ICT Authority.
Ten years ago, Kenya's BPO sector was hyped as the next growth frontier. Subsidies for bandwidth and employee salaries aimed at helping the industry catch up with outsourcing destinations like India, South Africa and Mauritius. The results so far have not met expectations.
While Kenya's outsourcing is currently dominated by a few international companies with the financial muscle or business pipeline to support operations, the new crop of Kenyan companies is expected to change the story and have more success in international outsourcing.
The 33 companies were selected after a competitive process, where companies were invited to express interest in growing and launching their businesses in foreign markets. The ICT Authority will be responsible for overseeing the progress of the project, with the key goal of establishing long-term business relationships.
The partnership will establish business "matchmaking" events in Europe and Africa, help companies participate in trade fairs and promote activities through media.
The companies selected run operations in software development, domain name service, cloud services, infrastructure, project management, BPO training, 3D visualization, and Internet security, among other areas.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.