Minister Unhappy With Uganda’s ICT Performance

Minister Frank Tumwebaze says Uganda has to pull it its socks in the ICT Sector

The new Minister in charge of ICT and National Guidance Hon Frank Tumwebaze has expressed dissatisfaction with Uganda’s current rating in terms of ICT application, stomach both global and continental.

At a stakeholder engagement meeting for the ICT and government communication sector held at the Kampala Sheraton, Minister Tumwebaze noted that Uganda’s IT innovations and services uptake was not encouraging.

Quoting the United Nations e-Government Survey, Tumwebaze observed that Uganda’s ranking globally has dropped from the 143rd position out of 190 countries ranked in 2012 to 156th out of 193 countries ranked in 2014.

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From a continental angle, Uganda’s ranking dropped by six (6) positions down from position 20 in 2012 to position 26 in 2014.

As he takes his new office, the Minister rooted for “adoption of rigorous sector innovations, agile implementation of best IT practices and matching ICT enabling policies.”

Appealed Tumwebaze, “We must not only talk about e-government but we must be an e-government. Government officials must take the lead and break walls of old technologies. Our midterm strategic objective is to join Africa’s top six ICT leaders that is, Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa, Tunisia and Egypt.”

The Minister then proceeded to pronounce a number of measured he intends to put in place to address this slump, among them ensure that all government agencies move a step further to adopt the available technologies in addition to the conventional ones in order to communicate what services they are offering to the citizenry.

He noted, “My ministry will work with other government ministries, agencies and departments (MDAs) to build capacity in effective communication, research and content dissemination.

“When government communicates factually and timely, citizen demand for the available services will be stimulated since they will know what to ask for, where, how and when. It also fosters accountability and empowers the citizens to monitor the delivery of public services with capacity to query both the quality and quantity of services offered. This is indeed the foundation of open government.”


Minister Tumwebaze who was previously in charge of Presidency  warned however, that while the use of ICT or critique government is health and encouraged, “narratives that seek to brand our mother country Uganda wrongly and frame it with sensational and conflated images, should not only be seen as unpatriotic schemes of enemies but should be confronted and opposed by all.”

“This duty is not only for us in and leading government. It’s for all of us as citizens. If we accept the story of our country’s heritage and its super natural gifts to be wrongly told, or glossed over, then we all lose, irrespective of the political beliefs we share.”

As such he cautioned the media to be more impartial.

“The altercations of the various political contenders not withstanding- and as you moderate those political arguments in your news platforms, do so jealously guarding the image of Uganda. Let always the story of Uganda’s uniqueness and progress stand out prominently.”

“Let the journalists, reporters and editors without any prompting of state regulation develop a patriotic culture of being able to discern always what can hurt the image of Uganda. Don’t be used to amplify and regurgitate anti-Uganda narratives by selfish and irresponsible people, be it politicians or otherwise. If for example you claim and report with a screaming headline that there is war in Uganda well aware that there isn’t, just know that you are hurting millions of our jobs.”

“Just know that operators of tourism lodges will suffer booking cancellations and make refunds, airlines and tour companies will close, remittances will slow down, the economy generally will stagnate if not decline etc. It’s a matter of citizen livelihood. Therefore, this is a matter I would like to continue having a honest conversation with you media Practitioners. Let us together evolve an acceptable code of responsible reporting about our own country, while at the same time not compromising a free press that continues to hold government accountable on its promises.”


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