Charlotte Karera Makes The Case For Rwanda as a GBS & BPO Destination

Charlotte Umutomi Karera is the CEO of the Rwanda GBS Growth Initiative. In this discussion she elucidates Rwanda’s case as the best place to do business in Africa. Charlotte is charged with promoting the GBS (Global Business Services) sector in the country.

The Rwanda GBS Growth Initiative partners with other organizations such as the Rwanda Development Board, GiZ, Harambee, the Mastercard Foundation, and Carnegie Mellon Universitywhich now has a campus in Rwanda—to promote Rwanda’s unique set of advantages to the world. These include attributes such as:

  • Deductions on corporate income tax
  • No restrictions on foreign ownership
  • #2 in Africa, #38 globally in terms of ease of doing business
  • Business registration takes less than 1 day
  • LOW crime, “2nd safest country in the world” for lack of violent & property crimes
  • 95% 4G LTE coverage and 7,000 km of fiber optic connectivity
  • Ecological commitment to protect the country’s natural resources
  • English native with strong French
  • Very low labor costs

Rwanda’s relatively small size with a population of about 13.7 million, is actually an advantage for emerging outsourcers, as the government has the critical mass of talent to provide an adequate labor pool, but emerging and specialty outsourcing firms with small to medium-sized operations still receive enthusiastic government attention and support.

We met during CCI Global’s grand opening of their 5,000 seat contact center in Nairobi, Kenya’s Tatu City business park, though CCI has already invested in Rwanda with a contact center that opened over a year ago. Along with global players like CCI Global, TTec and Tek Experts/TeKnowledge (doing enterprise IT-support from Kigali!) Rwanda has home-grown players such as WEC Outsourcing led by Dr. Innocent Rusagara. Like Kenya, Rwanda’s official language of business and government is English, though there is ample French and German language talent available, as well as local languages. The country takes developing local talent seriously, through tertiary education such as universities, or technical training such as Kigali-based Weclearn, with an additional campus in Nyamata, outside of the capital.

Led by Martin Roe, CCI Global is an example of a company that champions African talent with over 15,000 customer and technical service seats on the continent serving corporate clients in North America and Europe while providing professional growth opportunities and life-changing employment in the countries where it operates. As a growing multinational enterprise, CCI actively partners with government initiatives and the nonprofit sector to scale up opportunities in a way that maximizes positive impact in the communities where it has a presence.

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