The Uganda Communications Commission yesterday handed over a Modern ICT and Electronic Specialized facility comprised of seven laboratories to the Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) aimed at improving ICT specialties in Uganda.
The laboratories constructed and equipped by CLS Limited at a cost of Ug. Shs. 1.4billion are located at the UICT institute in Nakawa and will be used in facilitation of ICT training, research and innovation.
During a tour and handover of the laboratories on Tuesday, the Commissioner Corporate UCC Fred Otunnu said the move will go a long way in ensuring that UICT becomes a regional center of excellence for ICT innovation and education in the post- digital convergence era.
“It is a pleasure to finally be handing over these laboratories to the administration of the institute. UCC is committed to granting operational support and maintenance of Estates to improve UICT image and visibility” he said
UICT is a public ICT focuses training institution, managed and operated by UCC. In 2017/2018 financial year, funds were allocated for the set up rehabilitation and upgrade of teaching and associated ICT infrastructure.
UCC provided support to UICT to set up; electronics, production Electronics, telecommunications systems and multimedia laboratories, professional testing and certification centre (Pearson VUE testing Center), electrical and computer laboratories
In 2017, the commission embarked on general rehabilitation, renovation and refurbishment of the classroom block in which the ICT laboratories are housed and has since been completed fitted with an ICT systems control center new washroom and a new roof top at a cost of UGX 890m.
UICT is the only government owned that focuses on the middle cadre, practical ICT skills that are required in the ICT industry. Therefore the new laboratories will help to operationalize the professional certification centre which in turn should substantially boost the institution’s revenue” Otunnu said
Nakiyimba Irene, the Principal UICT said there was need for the Institute to achieve independence to maintain, operate and sustain the laboratories if they were going to be used effectively
She further requested UCC to give additional support to operationalize the laboratories
“As of now, the trainings have not started because some costs were not budgeted for. We request UCC to add us an additional Shs 44m to facilitate the trainings” she said.
Once fully operationalized, the specialized laboratories will support the growth of ICT sector competencies and narrow the ICT skills gap in training, research and innovation