The government of Uganda is committed to supporting technology-driven businesses to promote the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation and also spur economic growth.
This was revealed by ICT Minister Hon Frank Tumwebaze on Wednesday morning while touring the headquarters of e² Young Engineers Uganda, an educational enrichment program.
Young Engineers programs are run on an Israel-designed Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) program that includes after-school enrichment classes, pre-school classes, summer camps, birthday parties and special events where children are given an opportunity to learn while having fun building with the world’s favorite building block – LEGO.
The programs utilize an Edutainment (education + entertainment) approach, transforming the learning process into a game while introducing children to theoretical and practical knowledge in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Tumwebaze, who was satisfied with the progress of the facility, said it’s high time Ugandans embraced technology.
Video: Hon Frank Tumwebaze speaking at Young Engineers Uganda where he rooted for more support for ICT-driven businesses
“Many leaders have been talking about STEM. I want to thank you for taking a modest step of showing how STEM can work among young minds, students and others,” said Tumwebaze.
“Why should anybody convince me from the curriculum development centre that a child needs to know about Nyungu Ya Mawe, Canadian prairies and should not know how to develop prototypes for a tractor?” wondered Tumwebaze, adding, “Yet in real life I may never see the prairies of Canada but I need a tractor for my lifestyle.”
Tumwebaze, who had earlier listened to a presentation from the developer of Bucxs, an e-commerce and social media platform, said steps are being taken to overhaul the regulation regime with the view of facilitating the growth and adoption of viable innovations in Uganda.
“Breaking old school thinking among many people is not easy,” said Tumwebaze.
“You either adopt technology or it will disrupt you.”
The Minister also encouraged Young Engineers Uganda to pitch for funds allocated to ICT Innovators under the management of Uganda Communications Commission.
He also urged them to apply for space at the ICT Innovation Hub which will soon be opened in Nakawa.
The Young Engineers Uganda Managing Director, Mr Arinaitwe Rugyendo said the organisation’s aim is to “nurture Uganda’s next generation of Scientists, Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs through teaching basic scientific principles to children aged between 4 and 15 using LEGO bricks.”
He said the facility needs more funding to enable them procure enough teaching materials and increase the enrolment of kids whose number currently stands at about 100.