Uganda’s government urged to refocus efforts on local developers

The Ugandan government should review its ICT policy to ensure local developers come up with practicable innovations and decrease the reliance on foreign technology, an official said.

Speaking during the second annual national communication conference in Kampala on Monday, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) director Godfrey Mutabazi urged the government to boost local investors.

He said that Uganda’s over-consumption of foreign technology should be stopped by investing resources in local researchers with the capacity to come up with applications suitable for use in the country.

The main objective of this year’s conference is to explore national development through technology, according to Mutabazi. He said that Ugandans would benefit by embarking on projects to nurture creativity and innovation and provide local content.

“The ICT sector worldwide is distinguished by rapid technological advancement,” he said. “However there exist challenges that lead to collaboration between academic institutions, industrialists and other key people in the sector to explore more.”

Also present at the forum was Uganda’s state minister of ICT Nyombi Thembo, who confirmed that the Ugandan government is reviewing its policies on communications, with a single comprehensive document to be produced addressing the challenges facing the technology industry in the country.

Thembo noted that the new national policy would consider future development to impact positively on Ugandans.

“Research demands for aggressive efforts to support the sector’s aspirations,” he said. “We want to come up with policies that would change the industry for better.”

UCC in partnership with Makerere University College of Information science and technology hosted the forum

Uganda’s current ICT policy was laid out in April 2005 as the National Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) strategy for Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) through ICT, to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Health, Education, Governance and other sectors.

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