Mak Don Roots for Heavier Investment in ICT Innovations

A senior lecturer at Makerere University has called for massive investment in ICT innovations to tap into rare talent that would help drive economic growth in Uganda.

Eng Dorothy Akello revealed that from her long experience as lecturer and serving in other high level capacities in government and private sector, hospital she discovered the unexploited potential of innovators which needs to be harnessed for the country’s prosperity.

“We need to support the ICT innovation ecosystem for transformation of Uganda into middle-income status, site ” said Akello.

She said this would mean investing in broadband, physical spaces, mentorship and awards ceremonies.

“I am immersed in this every day. How do we harness this? The ideas people come up with are very innovative. We could have supported many more innovators. We need a thinking that supports creativity,” she advised.

Akello was the first female board chairperson of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

Speaking at the ICT Ministry Review workshop in Kampala on Tuesday, Akello appealed to policy makers: “Let’s not fail. Let’s try to find indigenous solutions to our needs. The context of foreign products doesn’t suit our interests,” she added.

Her concerns come against the backdrop of the formation of the ICT Innovators’ Secretariat at UCC.


President Museveni recently directed the Finance Ministry to inject Shs 15bn annually into the Forum to empower innovators realise their goals.

According to Information Minister Frank Tumwebaze, the ministry is moving swiftly to put in place a Judgement Committee composed of ICT experts from government, academia and private sector to assess innovation concepts seeking government support.

“That committee working with the ministry of ICT will also set up a clear and transparent criteria to guide the selection of best qualifying innovation projects to support. We are grateful to the president for endorsing our plan,” Tumwebaze told ChimpReports recently.

Akello said Uganda needs “technologies that represent our values,” adding, “Our children only find content on the internet by someone else. That’s their culture. They know how to manage it. We are at the receiving end.”

She further appealed to government to address issues of privacy and surveillance, child protection and cyber security.

ICT State Minister Aidah Nantaba called for continuous joint planning to build synergy in the ICT sector.

She said 56 government departments are connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure, adding, “ICT sector is one of the fastest growing sectors largely driven by the telecommunications industry.”

Innovation drives productivity growth and job growth, which in turn, drives economic prosperity and global competitiveness.

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