itcA USD 1 million project to boost the export of Uganda’s information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services sectors has been launched in Kampala today, 5th February 2015.

The three-year project, funded by the Dutch Government, will benefit from the technical expertise of the International Trade Centre (ITC), which will help Uganda to increase its exports and diversify markets to capitalise on the USD 180 billion global IT and ITES outsourcing market.

This project will benefit 30 Ugandan companies, while encouraging women-led enterprises to benefit from project activities. ITC will collaborate with three local partners: the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITAU), ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU), and the Uganda Business Process Outsourcing Association (UBPOA).

NITAU’s Managing Director James Saaka said: “In Uganda, we observe strong political support behind the IT/ITES sector coming apparent for example in tax incentives”. He noted the sector has the elements to grow including a large, young dynamic English speaking labor pool and stable growing economy.

“The NTF III project comes at a time when Uganda as a country has identified Information Technology as one of its national priority areas to propel the country’s economy to a globally competitive level.”

Rogers Karebi, Secretary of UBPOA, added further: “The Ugandan BPO industry in general and UBPOA in particular are very excited about the NTF project.  We are convinced that this project will contribute towards accelerating our association’s vision of Uganda climbing towards the top ten BPO outsourcing destinations in Africa”.

“ITC is eager to support Uganda’s ambitions in relation to the IT and BPO industry. I believe that the enthusiasm shown by the different stakeholders about this project will grow even stronger” said Mr. Anders Aeroe, ITC’s Director for Market Development.

He emphasized the importance of enhancing the competitiveness of local SMEs to generate successful and sustainable growth. “This project will build the capacity of enterprises to export, while also strengthening trade support institutions in a way that makes the intervention sustainable over the long term”.

Prof Rob van Eijbergen, Member of the NTF III Steering Group, emphasized the importance of the IT and ITES sector for the development of the Ugandan economy. “We can contribute to creating jobs for knowledge workers by developing exports and improving the enabling environment. We have really been pleased by the support and cooperation of our Ugandan counterparts”.

The NTF III Uganda IT & ITES Export Competitiveness project will be implemented in an integrated manner with complementary CBI activities and with the active engagement of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kampala which is also supporting national development initiatives in the IT& ITES sector.

Also present at the launch were officials from Uganda’s Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Finance, Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda Export Promotion Board, Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry (MTTIC), Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI), Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Competitiveness and Investment climate Strategy (CICS) Department, and the Royal Netherlands Embassy

This NTF III project follows a similar launch in Nairobi, Kenya, on 3 February 2015 worth USD 1.2 million, which will assist 33 Kenyan IT and ITES firms.

ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.

The 30 companies set to benefit are:

1 3D Tracking Uganda
2 BDE Consult
3 Billable Limited
4 CameoTechedge Services Limited
5 Cayman Consults Limited
6 ClinicMaster INTERNATIONAL
7 Data Care (U) Ltd
8 Dial a Service (U) Ltd
9 EXQUISITE SOLUTION
10 Frontier Technologies LTD
11 Hello World Ltd
12 Hostalite Limited
13 Innovative Connexions (U) Ltd
14 Junction Systems Ltd
15 Laboremus (U) Ltd
16 Mountbatten Ltd.
17 New Wave Technologies Ltd
18 NFT Consult Ltd
19 Node Six
20 PC Tech Communications Ltd
21 Planet Systems (U) Ltd
22 SERVICE COPS LIMITED
23 SINFA UGANDA LTD
24 SMS Media Uganda
25 Sparkplug
26 Techno Brain BPO ITES (U) Ltd
27 Tracenode LTD
28 Yo Uganda Limited
29 ZimbaWomen