Advancing Uganda’s ICT Sector: Highlights from UJ-Connect Project Meeting

By Jaspher Ouni

Kampala. The Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), convened the second Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting for the UJ-Connect Project on February 8, 2024. Chaired by Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the meeting welcomed key stakeholders from both the private and public sectors.

Launched in July 2023, the UJ-Connect Project aims to fortify Uganda’s ICT industry by establishing a growth model for priority sub-sectors. Its objectives, deliberated during the inaugural JCC, encompass Policy Support, Human Resource Development, Business Matching, and Mentorship.

MoICT Permanent Secretary Dr Aminah Zawedde (R) and UICT Principal Dr Frederick Kitoogo (L) during the Committee Meeting

Dr. Aminah Zawedde underscored the project’s significant achievements, notably the development of a skill set standard booklet for seven priority skilling areas, including Application Software (mobile/web), Database Management and Analysis, Cybersecurity, Cloud Services, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data. Collaboration with UICT has played a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of ICT services in Uganda. Over 2,000 beneficiaries are expected to benefit from these programs, with capacity building for trainers already in progress.

INOUE Yoichi, Chief Representative, JICA Uganda Office

The forthcoming business matching event between Japanese and Ugandan ICT companies, slated for late February 2024, promises to foster collaboration through a six-month pilot project, amplifying Uganda’s presence on the international stage. Additionally, a successful webinar provided Japanese companies with insights into the Ugandan ICT sector, drawing over 40 participants from ICT, manufacturing, and development consulting companies in Japan.

Furthermore, a mentorship program aimed at nurturing technology-driven entrepreneurship was launched during the 2nd JCC. Fifteen exceptional start-up founders were selected from a pool of 303 applicants to refine their ideas and business models, paving the way for collaboration with Japanese and Ugandan companies.

Mr. Yoichi Inoue, the JICA Chief Representative, emphasized the importance of project sustainability and urged the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance to focus on the project’s future and the ICT industry’s development over the next three years.

Agnes Lumala, UICT Academic Registrar presents the UJ-Connect First Year Project Report

In conclusion, the UJ-Connect Project is making significant strides towards its objectives, thanks to the dedication and collaboration of all stakeholders. The Ministry of ICT & National Guidance remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering an innovative and vibrant ICT ecosystem in Uganda.

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