The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is set to celebrate its notable achievements for the last 20 years, officials revealed Monday.
Research indicates the revolution in the communication industry has potential to do for Africa what railroads did for Western economies in the 19th century.
Despite the rapid adoption of mobile phones, Africa lags behind other regions in its use of core digital platforms such as the internet.
Failure to translate the opportunity into tangible gains could contribute to youth unemployment, political instability and widespread despair.
But UCC Executive Director Eng Godfrey Mutabazi believes if Uganda and Africa at large can master the communication revolution, it could usher in a new epoch of economic transformation.
“The communication industry is currently going through a huge revolution,” said Mutabazi at a press conference in Kampala on Wednesday.
“We therefore, need to come together to transform human race,” he added as UCC moves to celebrate 20 years of excellence.
He said there was a lot of work done in Artificial Intelligence (AI) which should be exploited.
“So let’s not be taken by surprise,” he emphasised.
UCC was established to develop a modern communications sub-sector and Infrastructure in Uganda, in conformity with the operationalisation of the Telecommunications Policy.
The Commission is mandated to undertake a range of functions in the following areas: licensing and standards; spectrum management; tariff regulation; research and development; consumer empowerment; policy advice and implementation; rural communications development; and capacity building.
Some of UCC’s achievements include digital migration; support for ICT innovations; distribution of computers in schools; promotion of local movie industry; combating cyber crimes; standardizing broadcasting services; and building partnerships with relevant ICT institutions across the world.
“Among our achievements, in conjunction with the ITU, we built an early warning system in Butaleja to help the local detect floods,” said Mutabazi.
He says UCC is keen on recognising power of exponential growth in digital platforms and harnessing them in time.
Mutabazi also believes this growth is also associated with remarkable technological diversification, citing new digital technologies driving advances in fields such as 3D printing, drones, artificial intelligence, robots and the internet of things.
Concerted efforts will need to be made to train a new generation of UgandanS to ensure they are able to understand these emerging digital technologies and grasp the associated entrepreneurial opportunities.
In his speech today, Mutabazi observed: “The Commission is willing to support whoever has got new technology.”
He said the purpose of setting up ICT labs in schools was to increase Internet uptake, leading to the reduction of Internet price.
The key activities of UCC @20 include stakeholder engagements, launching the first telecommunication museum in Uganda, recognition of ICT founders and personalities, national essay competition, recognition of the best ICT journalists, CSR activities, ICT symposium and ICT youth fora.