Gov't Launches West Nile Regional ICT Innovation Hub at Muni University

Gov't Launches West Nile Regional ICT Innovation Hub at Muni University

Gov't through the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, has inaugurated the West Nile Regional ICT Innovation Hub at Muni University in Arua city.

The launch was presided over by the esteemed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde.

Dr. Zawedde underscored the ministry's dedication to enhancing infrastructure, connectivity, and access to digital resources, stating

"As a ministry, we are now focusing on infrastructure; setting up connectivity, hubs, data centers, and making sure that people have equipment such as computers and other affordable devices to support digital transformation."

The event brought together various dignitaries, including the Area MP for Ayivu East Division, Hon. Feta Geofrey, and members of the ICT Parliamentary committee, led by Hon. Dr. Noah Musa.

Dr. Musa passionately advocated for reduced taxes on ICT devices, emphasizing;

"We can do all these investments but if the end users do not have the gadgets to use the ICT investments we have put in place, then our investments will be in vain."

The establishment of the regional ICT innovation hub aims to address the challenges faced by West Nile entrepreneurs in accessing critical resources and guidance for business expansion. Prof. Robert Kajobe, Director of Graduate Training, Research, and Innovation at Muni University, emphasized the hub's significance, stating,

"The hub will provide essential facilities such as meeting/training venues, workspaces, fast internet connectivity, and cloud storage systems."

Muni University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Simon Anguma Katrini, highlighted the collaborative efforts between the university and the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, stating,

"In 2020, Muni University requested for support through the National ICT Support Initiative program for establishing an innovative ICT hub at the University to accelerate the growth of the ICT eco-system in Uganda." Prof. Anguma confirmed the allocation of UGX 250 million towards setting up the hub.

Dr. Zawedde reiterated the government's commitment to addressing policy issues to reduce the cost of ICT devices, stating,

"If these computers are manufactured here or smartphones are manufactured and assembled in the country, they would be more affordable." She emphasized the importance of digital skilling, e-services, cybersecurity, data privacy, innovation, and entrepreneurship in driving digital transformation.