The minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba has said all ministries, departments, and local governments must enhance the usage of ICT in national development and services delivery.
While speaking at the launch of the digital innovation in agriculture projects, Nabakooba said all ministries, departments, and local governments must digitize their processes and develop solutions such as e-health, e-education, e-extension services among others.
“The Ministry of ICT has focused on investment in ICT infrastructure, which is the foundation of digital transformation. Through extending the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI), government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are able to provide e-services including e-passport and eVisa, IFMIS, eTax by URA, eProcurement, the IPPS for management of pension and payroll, the refugee registration system at the OPM to mention but a few.” Nabakooba said.
Nabakooba said that digital solutions have come at the time when the world is depending on digital technology to continue operations as we face an unprecedented global pandemic
She notes that around the world, digital solutions are helping to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus by aiding the public health response, minimizing the need for face-to-face interactions, and helping some businesses to stay afloat.
“Indeed, we have seen the increased use of technology in government operations. We are now using technology to track and register recent entrants at our borders, monitor quarantined travelers and alert them of their end of quarantine days, provide real-time reporting of travelers’ status to the ministry of health, and make Covid-19 information readily available to the public,” she said.
The ICT minister pointed out that while the COVID-19 crisis accentuated the role of digital transformation in addressing day to day challenges, the ministry, has also been relentlessly working to increase the uptake and usage of digital services in Uganda.
She also revealed that despite the evident role that technology can play in improving our processes, utilization of ICT services across the country is hampered by limited network coverage, high costs of devices and internet, and inadequate ICT knowledge and skills.”
“This is why as a ministry, we are focusing on the deployment of secure, integrated and cross-sector ICT infrastructure, promotion of innovation and commercialization of ICT products, digital inclusion, and digital literacy,” she revealed.
Nabakooba adds that the ministry has made significant progress towards the creation of an ICT Innovation ecosystem and the development of ICT entrepreneurs. “We are building ICT innovation hubs and workspaces countrywide to support efforts of innovators like we have seen here today,” she said.