Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has lauded the ICT Ministry for formulating an integrated government digital policy.
He said that implementation of the policy will ease coordination and monitoring of all government agencies and what they are doing.
Rugunda on Thursday officiated at a consultative workshop for ICT stakeholders held at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
The forum organized by the Ministry of ICT Frank Tumwebaze sought to engage ICT players across the spectrum on how to enrich the policy for better regulation, data management, infrastructure, protection of startups and privacy.
According to Minister Tumwebaze, the Digital Vision will be the overall policy ICT framework for the country and will set targets, milestones, ICT basic standards which each sector of government will follow and implement.
“The development of ICT in the country impacts directly on the work of the Prime Minister as coordinator of government business. Having easy access, being able to monitor easily and being able to reach whoever you want to reach makes coordination very easy,” the Prime Minister told an audience of policy makers, ICT technocrats, innovators, developers, telecom service providers, representatives from communication agencies and techprenuers.
He said the forum was necessary for generation of ideas and would enable government to sieve through different proposals and come up with an appropriate policy for the ICT sector.
“ICTs are no longer a luxury that we can live without. They are an essential tool for the socio economic transformation of our country, in addition to easing communication,” Rugunda said.
He added that the large disparity in terms of access to the internet between rural areas and the urban setting in Uganda was a constraint to the delivery of services.
“As government, our main focus has been to create a conducive environment and developing appropriate people and regulatory frameworks that foster private sector ICT led innovations,” Rugunda stated.
But some sections of innovators in the private sector argue that for the environment to be conducive, government must invest more in the ICT sector.
Wilson Kutegeka, founder of Clinic Master International an I.T company that develops and supports health information management software in Uganda told ChimpReports that some of the government policies are not supportive to the private sector.
“They might require you to have a certain income which makes it hard for most of our ICT business which are startups to be able to bid. Sometimes, it’s the bureaucracy. There are lots of people and processes to go through so it becomes hard for you to get assistance,” Kutegeka said.
Nevertheless, he noted that Thursday’s consultative forum between public and private sectors was a step in the right direction especially that government is becoming more open to utilize ICT solutions by the private players.