The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Frank Tumwebaze has said there is need for government to focus on purposeful skilling of innovators, to drive cutting edge innovations that will help in solving Uganda’s problems
“As a country, we can first skill ourselves then skill others using the power of knowledge. I want to commend UCC for continuously endeavouring to skill the youth,” he said
“Every problem we face in our day to day activities in agriculture, health, business, education, entertainment is an opportunity to exploit 4IR technologies to make life better. Where problems exist, solutions can be found,” Minister Tumwebaze added.
The minister made the call during the ongoing National Conference on Communications that kicked off today at Makerere University.
The 2-day event is organised by Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) and runs under the theme; “Harnessing Opportunities in Emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)”
It is a platform for innovators, students, application developers, law makers and others to identify new research challenges, share solutions and discuss issues relevant to the communication sector of a developing country like Uganda.
In his speech, Minister Tumwebaze challenged ICT industry players to solve people’s day-to-day problems through modern and unique innovations, noting for instance that medical doctors would have no job if humankind stopped falling sick.
“You are the doctors of the IT space,” Hon. Tumwebaze told the audience of mostly university students, academicians, researchers, tech enthusiasts and industry players.
Speaking at the same event, Godfrey Mutabazi advised innovators in developing countries to be tactical and only put in place innovations that already have supporting factors in place
“African innovators fail not because the innovations themselves do not work but because their timing is wrong; usually appearing either before all enabling factors are in place or having missed the window of opportunities,” he said.
Mutabazi further noted that while African universities use the same fundamental principles as other top universities in the developed world, African countries are slower in transformation, something he attributed to linear as opposed to exponential thinking.
“Every problem we face in our day-to-day activities, in agriculture, health, business, education or entertainment, is an opportunity to exploit 4IR technologies to make life better. From farmers faced with fake drugs and diseases to Boda Boda riders targeted by criminals, to traffic jams in Kampala. Where problems exist, solutions can and should be found,” Mr Mutabazi said.
The conference was graced by Timothy X Brown, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University Africa who made a keynote address entitled ” Beyond 5G, the role of THZ spectrum
The conference continues on Friday with discussions on blockchain technology and ICT for Development (ICT4D), among other topics