KAMPALA – Mr. Albert Mucunguuzi, the chairperson of the ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU) has called for tapping the creative potential of the country’s youth to make Uganda a leading knowledge and innovation hub.
Speaking at the Swarm Summit and Tech Expo 2019 held at UMA showground Lugogo, Mr. Mucunguzi said that in this age of Intellectual Property Rights, the innovation and entrepreneurship of young professionals will play a major role in propelling Uganda’s economy to newer heights and in creating an inclusive society.
“We have to remember that knowledge is going to be the driver of our economy and will play a vital role in improving the living conditions of the people,” he said that “we must rise to the occasion and reorient its higher education system to be globally competitive”.
Stressing the need to harvest Uganda’s demographic dividend, he said that the time has come to reposition Uganda as one of the leading economic powers in the region.
Pointing to the need for providing our youth with the wherewithal to make them job creators instead of allowing them to end up as job seekers, Mucunguzi called for focusing on skill training, skill up-gradation and promoting innovative entrepreneurship to meet the demands of various sectors, including agriculture.
Urging the youngsters to always uphold ethical values, he asked them to be responsible for the expectations and aspirations of the larger society.
Over 200 top business and technology, minds including FinTechs, regulators, policymakers, investors, financial service providers, and development partners were also tipped on how to compete on the International market and urged to enhance the quality of ICT products and services earlier today at UMA Conference hall.
The two-day event co-hosted by Hive Colab and the ICTAU had panels that extensively discussed topics on Investment, Agri-tech, Med-Tech, Exporting IT, and technologies powering smart cities of the future and how they have grown throughout the years.
Hugo Hemmen – CEO Gapstar, a Dutch company looking for possible co-operation in Uganda discussed key success factors for SMEs wanting to export ITO/BPO services and how can Ugandan SMEs be able to realize their export targets. He pointed out factors like basic data services (e.g. data entry and processing, transcription, data conversion from one format to another, image-tagging and digitization services), and Basic rules-based decision-making (e.g. processing accounts payable and insurance claims).
In order to enhance export competitiveness of selected sectors in Uganda, initiatives like The Netherlands Trust Fund IV Programme (NTF IV) have been put in place to improve the IT and IT-enabled Services (ITES) sectors. This initiative, for example, is based on a partnership agreement signed by the CBI and ITC in September in 2017 and has been an integrated approach to sector competitiveness.
At the outcome level, NTF IV is planned to increase export revenues of SMEs and start-ups by enhancing the export competitiveness of the IT and ITES sector.
The Tech Expo saw exhibitors pitch their ideas and engage with participants on how best their products & services solve Uganda’s day to day challenges. The expo featured tech startups like Response Innovation Lab, Logix Technical Services, Data Care Uganda Ltd, Refractory, among others. Participants also explored the need for collaborative platforms as they engaged with stakeholders to explore opportunities that will enable FinTechs to play an active role in growing Uganda’s digital economy.
“The Swarm summit is an annual event aimed at recognizing the different levels of development of Uganda’s digital landscape, showcasing the different entities that work to create a harmonious tech eco-system. We are thrilled to provide a larger stage to showcase the technological innovations shaping Uganda’s digital economy,” said TMS Ruge; Co-founder and Director, Hive Colab.”