Minister Tumwebaze Rallies Western IT Firms to Invest in Uganda

The Minister for Information Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze has called upon Western companies to invest in Uganda’s ICT and digital economies.

Tumwebaze who was in Brussels, symptoms Belgium together with ICT Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire was speaking at one of the sessions at the Europe Days Development Summit.

During the session, approved he pitched for the available ICT investment opportunities in Uganda.

According to Tumwebaze, a number of Technology companies including Microsoft, Intel, Tech house, Carnegie Mellon University among others who attended the session “expressed willingness to come and work with us on innovation hubs.”

“There is a lot of good will and seed money to support available start-ups and young technology Entepreneurs all over the globe. All they want are viable ideas to support,” said Tumwebaze on return from Europe.

The Minister revealed that “other partners promised to contribute funds directly towards our small ICT innovation fund.”

Government in September 2016 committed a Shs15 billion annual fund to empower, nurture ideas and develop programmes, applications and software for the transformation of the information technology sector.

The fund will be launched officially in July 2017.

Tumwebaze had earlier revealed that the Ministry together with the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) were constructing a government innovation hub in Nakawa.

This he said, once completed, will enable signing “partnerships with multinational tech firms ready to mentor our innovators and as a result help in the marketing and commercialization of their innovated products.”

“ICT is a highly dynamic sector and because of technology migrations and innovations, policy makers like ourselves have to keep networking and alert so as to move with the times.”

Tumwebaze revealed that the Ministry is re-writing a new Digital Vision for Uganda to integrate and all existing ICT policies into one Policy framework that defines milestones for each sector.

This, he said, will help government policies “comply and move with the changing trends.”

“If different IT systems of a country don’t speak to one another, the desired efficiency can never be realised. The need for increased affordable broadband connectivity and scaling up of digital literacy efforts were unanimously agreed on as key drivers of narrowing the digital divide gaps,” he said.

He said the summit was attended by many world leaders, Presidents and heads of governments, among them; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda who spoke about digital inclusion and the presidents of Ghana, Malawi who also spoke.

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