Uganda improves in ICT Development Index
“This is a welcome improvement in our global ranking by the respected ITU. It’s definitely not where we want to be, but is testimony that the different initiatives that are being undertaken under the able leadership of the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, have started to bear fruit. A continuous improvement in the rankings will guarantee the country an improvement in its GDP” said James Saaka, Executive Director of NITA-U.
The improvement in the ranking has been buttressed by the strategic rollout of ICT infrastructure by both the Private Sector and Government.
By the end of Financial Year 17/18, NITA-U plans to have connected 730 MDAs and Local Governments to the backbone. There are currently 321 MDAs and Local Governments (LGs) already connected to the NBI.
Commenting on the development, Permanent Secretary, the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Bagiire Vincent Waiswa, added that “This highlights the positive headway made in our collective effort to Digitize Uganda. Our aim is to continue enabling the lives of Ugandan citizens by demystifying the concept of the use of ICT through the provision of reliable and consistent online government services. I am happy to share that we shall soon, together with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), roll out the Electronic Government Procurement that will ease & automate the government procurement process. This is a critical driver in the Ease of Doing Business Index of a country.”
As a measure to further improve Government rankings, NITA-U has been piloting the MyUG concept which aims at connecting the unconnected. MyUG is a free WiFI service that has been partially implemented in 216 locations. Given the learnings, the service is going to be revamped to enable citizens to access Government services as no cost.
Additionally, Government will be implementing two major activities necessary for the citizens to attain the full benefit of ICT. These include:
- Government ePayment Gateway: This a Government e-Payment gateway that will facilitate electronic payments for Government services in a bid to make service delivery more efficient and responsive to the needs of the citizens and as well promote online business.
- Government System Integration: This Integration of all Government systems will ensure simplicity, efficiency of access to Government services in a secure environment. Using a single User ID (National Identification Number), citizens will have easy access to Government services. Additionally, this will promote transparency for Government as data sharing across agencies will be seamless and digitized.
The Government remains determined to improve access to ICT by enabling an environment that allows for affordability and reliability of ICT services. This is augmented by the various investments in ICT across Government.