ICT Minister Tumwebaze Wants All Gov’t Agencies, Officials Online

The outgoing Minister of ICT John Nasasira (L) handing over
Ministerial documents to his succesor Hon. Frank Tumwebaze (R) at the
Ministry headquarters on Monday

The new Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hon. Frank Tumwebaze has revealed his plans to ensure that all government Ministries, erectile Departments and Agencies have an online presence as a way of streamlining communication.

He said that it will be mandatory for bodies to have regularly updated websites as well as active
social media accounts to instantly respond to public queries and clarification.

“The President merged the two sectors of information and ICT with an aim of ensuring effective communication, patient accountability and informing Ugandans about government programs. We are going to make sure that all Permanent Secretaries are on social media and that they give real time information,” said Minister Tumwebaze on Monday at an event where the outgoing ICT Minister John Nasasira handed him tools of office.

He was opposed to the popular public misconception that government communication is for purposes of political altercation.

In his tenure, the new Minister promised to support ICT innovations which he said possess potential to drive socio-economic growth.

On regulating social media, he made assurance that his approach will be engagement but made a plea to the media to report objectively.

“I am for engagement and objectivity but not gaging social media as many of you have been saying. Criticizing the government is okay but for the media to deny government space to respond to its critics or highlight its achievements is unethical.”

The outgoing Minister of ICT, Hon John Nasasira highlighted some of the strides made by the sector under his tenure including offering employment to 3 million Ugandans (in 2015) from 1 million in 2011.

Amidst minimal budgetary funding, the sector has contributed 2.5 percent to GDP with an annual tax remittance of Ugshs 484.4Bn in 2015 from Ugshs 199.3Bn in 2011.

“However, inadequate funding remains a major challenge for the ICT sector even when everybody emphasizes its critical role. Government should raise funding from the current 100Bn to atleast Ugsh 220 Bn,” said Nasasira.

He highlighted several other hinderances among them; vandalization of infrastructure, limited relevant content for internet and broadcasting, understaffing with low pay and high taxes for equipement and taxes.

The 64 year old politician who has been Minister for the last 27 years said he is finally retiring from politics to the private sector. To the new Minister, Nasasira handed over a Ministerial report, policy statement and a strategic and investment plan.

At the same event held at the Ministry headquarters, the outgoing State Minister of ICT Nyombi Thembo also handed over office to his successor, Hon. Aida Nantaba.


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