KAMPALA – The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance has on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Centenary Technology Services (Cente-Tech) that will herald cooperation in creating growth opportunities for Uganda’s youthful population.
Technology is as an essential tool in promoting competitiveness, job creation, sustainable development, and overall poverty reduction. It has the potential to transform business and government – driving entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth and breaking down barriers of distance and cost in the delivery of services. It is in appreciation of this truth that the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance has partnered with the digitization experts – Cente-Tech.
Cente Tech is a subsidiary of Centenary Group. Other subsidiaries include Centenary Bank and Centenary Foundation. The Group will also venture into insurance business, fund management and investment, property development and management as well expanding the Centenary banking brand outside Uganda.
With a combined ICT industry experience of over 75 years in the public and private sector, Cente-Tech provides holistic technology solutions and delivers innovation that matters to enable and inspire growth. Cente-Tech’s niche lies in ICT advisory and Research; ICT Managed Services and Infrastructure; and ICT Innovation and Digital Services.
The signed MoU will enable Cente-Tech extend its expertise through ICT advisory and consultancy services to support the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance in developing strategies, implementing infrastructure-related services and sharing Cente-Tech’s global & local combined 75years experience and knowledge to resolve some of the issues faced by Uganda in the ICT sector.
Its noteworthy that the Centenary brand has a considerably aggregated demand and audience through intricately structured entities that include: 640 church parishes, 219 institutions, 264 hospitals and 3388 schools representing a community of over 20M Ugandans across the country. Through the MoU, this demand will be extended to the Ministry of ICT-supported innovators community, by way of providing sustainability for innovations in focus areas, namely; education, agriculture, health and trade.
Commenting following the signing, Hon Chris Baryomunsi – Minister for ICT and National Guidance said the private sector has a critical role to play in accelerating digital transformation.
According to Baryomunsi, Uganda’s economic growth must be digitally driven, saying that the digital economy is the recipe for job creation, spurring innovation, boosting economic growth and supporting long-term competitiveness in the global digital economy.
He lauded the Cente-Tech for enabling a commercialization and sustainability path that young innovators can take on which will in turn create more revenue, they create more jobs.
“Our National Development Plan 3, under the Digital Transformation Program highlights ICT a fulcrum of development and a crucial driver of social and economic development. To ensure the realization of the aspiration in the Digital Transformation Program, we are cognizant that investment into digital infrastructure is inevitable. Much-needed digital infrastructure and the resulting digital transformation will be an enabler of rapid development across Uganda, positively impacting the most vulnerable communities.”
“The investment doesn’t mean that all Government does is outlay billions of shillings in building infrastructure, partnerships with the private sector are investments intended to help the nation achieve the aspiration of social & economic transformation through the use of ICT,” he added.
He said that Uganda cannot become Africa’s Innovation Powerhouse if all it can afford is take 5 young innovators to expos, “we need transform the thousands of youth by providing them growth opportunities. The growth opportunity that matters is one that creates revenue for our youth – today we have an answer to the issue of revenue creation for our young innovators.”
He said that the Government partnership with Cente-Tech means that the aggregated demand that Cente-Tech unlocks via the vast network of schools, hospitals, markets, parishes, universities etc, is an opportunity for our young innovators.
“This is a commercialization and sustainability path they can take on – once our young people get more revenue, they create more jobs. As a Government, these are the kind of mutually beneficial partnerships that we will always seek. Additionally, the 75years of global ICT technical experience that Cene-Tech has will go a long way in supporting us in the various ICT-led programs that we are undertaking. This is how we work at remaining Africa’s Innovation Powerhouse.”
Centenary Group’s Executive Chairman, Prof Ddumba Ssentamu said, “the deliberate participation in this joint effort to digitize comes at a time when not just innovation, but co-innovation, has become more crucial than ever.”
“The journey to digitize our nation cannot be left to Government alone and therefore makes our participation important.’ ‘The Group with all its subsidiaries are ready to work with the Government in uplifting the rural communities,” Prof Ddumba concluded.
Cente-Tech is committed to using technology to sustainably progress job creation, spur innovation, boost economic growth and uplift rural communities.