Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and NITA-U release findings of National IT Survey 2017/2018.
The National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) today held a dissemination workshop to discuss key findings from the National IT survey conducted amongst Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Local Governments (LGs) and Households from across the country in 2017. The main objective of the study was to ascertain the status of Information Technology in terms of availability, access and usage, affordability and satisfaction with IT infrastructure, equipment and services.
The survey which is part of a five year Strategic Plan to develop a bank of well researched IT Statistics by The National Information Technology Authority Uganda though the Ministry of ICT, attracted key players from the ICT sectors.
Representing Vincent Bagiire, The Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, Eng. James Kasigwa, commissioner Broadcasting and Infrastructure said, “The reality is that ICT access and affordability is still a challenge particularly for many of our youths. However, as the research findings highlight, among those who use the internet, most use of social media sites, mostly Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. Here we see opportunity for MDAs and local governments to leverage these platforms to offer swift and cost effective services. Given the growing mobile phone and internet access rates in across country, it is apparent that the Ugandan public has great scope for increased use of online services.’’
Eng James Kasigwa, a commissioner Broadcasting and Infrastructure MoICT & NG represented PS
Commenting on key findings like; MDAs have embraced the use of digital platforms to provide government services with half of them (50.7%) offering e-Government services via the web, 19.5% via SMS and 13% using mobile applications. In addition, 61% of MDAs plan to implement new e-Government services in the next five years. Dr. Fredrick Kitoogo, Director of planning, Research &Development who represented NITA-U’s Executive Director, James Saaka urged MDAs to embrace eGoverment.
“We cannot afford to wait. We have the youngest population in the world and it is growing, E- government is one of the ways we will ensure efficient and transparent service delivery to an increasingly tech savvy generation. That is why, NITA-U has set up the e-citizens portal, http://ecitizen.go.ug/, he vision is to get to the point where every government service can be accessed on this portal’’, he said.
Dr. Fredrick Kitogo, Director of planning, Research &Development addresses participants represented NITA-U Executive Director NITA-U
He further highlighted some of the e-government initiatives that are in the works “In the pipeline we have a number of e-government initiatives that will transform service delivery. These include; The Electronic Government Procurement system which will ease and automate the government procurement process. The Government ePayment Gateway which will facilitate electronic payments for Government services , The Unified Messaging and Collaboration System which will provide Email, Voice, Video, Social and Instant Messaging services to government offices, the Government SMS Gateway which will allow government entities to push SMS notifications to citizens through its various e-services and applications and the Electronic Voucher system, which provides farmers in a specific cluster with subsidized farm inputs, improved agricultural infrastructure, post-harvest handling technologies and competitive prices for inputs and outputs.”
Yvonne Nabasa was the Master of Ceremony
The report highlights, among many other findings that, Within MDAs, ICT personnel account for only 1.9% of the total work force. This is a slight improvement compared to 2012/13, when 1.6% of all MDA employees were ICT personnel. Given government’s ambition to mainstream ICT in its operations and to leverage ICT to improve the efficiency and effectives of service delivery through use of e-government services, the proportion of ICT personnel is still very low. Other issues like the gender bias among ICT personnel (31.2% female vs. 68.8% male), as well as increased specialization in key areas like IT security and user experience design, need to be urgently addressed through targeted efforts and programs
Mobile payment for utility bills is the most used e-Government service (62.6%), followed by online registration for the Tax Identification Number (TIN). E-payments are now mainstream, as 62.1% of individuals have sent or transferred money within Uganda using an electronic method, most likely a mobile phone-to-mobile phone transfer involving mobile money. E-commerce is still a nascent service in Uganda with only 1.7% of individuals having ever made an online purchase, even when you consider offline payments for the purchase. Non e-commerce users highlight a number of impediments to e-commerce, including their preference for physical interaction with goods before purchase (70.6%), trust and privacy concerns, as well as the security of payment details.
Snapshot of the findings
NITA-U, welcomes the survey and encourages both the public & private players within the sector to study the findings of this report and use the insights to aid their business planning.