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Rugunda: Why We Are Integrating Gov’t Systems

Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda,
Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda

All government institutions will soon have an integrated electronic system to share information as a way of creating more efficiency in service delivery.

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said government is working with all ministries, agencies and departments to build an electronic government that will enable Ugandans and foreign investors access all government services on the internet.

This, according to him, will help in stimulating the competitiveness of the Uganda’s economy on the global market as well as improve on the ease of doing business in the country.

“We want a Ugandan or an investor who is looking for information or wanting to apply for any papers to be able to do it on a computer without having to move from one place to place,” said Rugunda.

“We are going to build a system where all ministries and all government agencies like KCCA, judiciary, Immigration, Lands, NEMA, UNBS  Police PPDAS,  NDA, URBS and any other to be able to share information so that if a customer visits one agencies, he has visited all,” he added.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a Joint Policy Coordination Committee meeting that took place Tuesday in Kampala.

The meeting, which was attended by ministers and officials from different government ministries and agencies, was intended to find ways on how government agencies can make Uganda’s economy competitive and friendly for business operations as a way of boosting growth.

The integration of systems is being spearheaded by NITA-U.

The Government predicts that economic growth is expected to accelerate to 5.5 percent in the Financial Year 2016/17 due primarily to an increase in public investment.

The Government of Uganda (GOU) medium term growth estimates call for an average of 6 percent over the next five years, though actual growth may come in lower due in large part to the ongoing global macro-economic deterioration.

The UNCTAD World Investment Report shows that Uganda remains the leading recipient of Foreign Direct Investment in the East African region.

FDI in Uganda has remained relatively high, driven by the development of its gas and mineral sectors and in infrastructure.

If Uganda moves toward commercial oil production at the end of this decade, it will likely continue to attract FDI.

While Uganda maintains a liberal trade and foreign exchange regime, and largely adheres to IMF/World Bank programs to fight poverty, continuing reports of endemic corruption, financial mismanagement, and increasing political repression raise questions about the government’s commitment to fostering an investor-friendly environment.

Rugunda asked all government officials to eliminate all bad indicators like corruption, bureaucracy and procurement laws that undermine the government’s efforts in developing the economy.

“Making the economy more competitive is a common good as it helps everyone in the long run,” said Rugunda, adding, “By eliminating corruption, bureaucracy and procurements problems that keep undermining Uganda in the eyes of the other global economies, we will be able to attract more investors who will create jobs and employ many Ugandans who will them contribute to the tax base that will be used to develop the economy.”

He urged Ugandans to take personal responsibility to report corruption tendencies.

Internet infrastructure 

The Ministry of ICT Permanent Secretary, Vincent Bagiire Waiswa said the government is ready to implement the system because the internet structure to support it is in place.

“Internet cost has reduced from $300 to $190 dollars. We are working on making it even cheaper. This will make it possible for all government agencies as well as the general public to use this system to carry out their businesses using the internet,” said Bagiire

Although Uganda made improvements in the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Rankings, moving up 13 positions to 122nd out of 189 countries, substantial market challenges remain.

Uganda is ranked 168th for starting a business, requiring 15 procedures—seven more than the average for sub-Saharan Africa.

The country is also ranked 161st for dealing with construction permits, requiring 18 procedures—four more than sub-Saharan Africa.

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