KAMPALA — Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) is undergoing a digital revolution with plans to start a National Digital Archive, Mr. Kenneth Oluka, the Corporation’s acting Managing Director has revealed.
Mr. Oluka was speaking at the occasion of launching a series of activities to mark the record 120 years of UPPC, one of Uganda’s oldest institutions, that was started by the colonial government in 1902 and lived through the decades serving the government as the official printer.
The 120-year-old body is home to priceless articles of Ugandan history such as decrees passed by President Idi Amin, directives by the colonial government, national budgets, government white papers among others.
“To preserve this history better and make it more easily accessible, we are in the process of digitizing the vast amount of information and documents in our stores. We want to build a national archive. We are also expanding our national reach by opening outlets in the regions”, Mr. Oluka said.
As part of the 120 years celebrations, UPPC plans to hold several activities including; publishing a souvenir Magazine (The Printer), a walk, exhibitions, hosting technical institutions students and acquaint them with printing technologies – equipment and machinery.
Mr. Oluka also said that UPPC’s plans to revive a printing school are in advanced stage—revealing that it would reopen its doors to students by 2023.
“We are also strengthening our partnerships with the law training institutions. We plan to visit law schools and make some contributions in form of legal documents,” he said, also requesting to have a special session in parliament to recognise the work of the Government Printer over the years.
“In as far as laws are concerned, the Parliament and the Ministry of Justice and its agencies are our biggest partners. We recognise the partnerships with the First Parliamentary Counsel, Law Reform Commission and the Judiciary.”
The two-month long celebrations will be happening between July and September this year.
UPPC prints and publishes all government laws and public legal notices in the weekly government newspaper, The Gazette.
It also serving government ministries, departments and agencies and the president recently made a directive that all government institutions should offer at least 40% of their printing business to UPPC.
Presiding over the launch held at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala, Presidency Minister, Milly Babalanda in a speech read by Hajji Yunus Kakande, the Secretary Office of the President said government is committed to revamping UPPC —citing its role in the country’s development.
“The celebrations are very timely, coming at the time when UPPC has just acquired very powerful and versatile equipment in form of the 4-colour printing machine and with plans to acquire the 5-color machine. Other old machinery has been repaired or generally replaced. For this I thank the current leadership at the UPPC for solving most of the challenges that we had here.”
He added: “As a result, this machinery has propelled the UPPC into a world-class printery capable of handling any volume of work and yet maintaining the highest quality of outputs possible on the market.”
Whereas UPPC brought itself to the highest standard possible in the printer industry, Balalanda said the potential clientele of the UPPC has been slow to respond to the Presidential directive that requires all the MDAs in Uganda to surrender all their printing jobs to the UPPC and the New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation.
“If the above directive was complied with, the UPPC revenues would be quite high and its subsequent contribution to the National Coffers would be handsome.To support the UPPC is to support the growth of the country; It is to curtal hemorrhage of foreign exchange through external printing by individuals and local companies; and it is to eventually develop critical infrastructures such as dams, roads, railways and schools and bring down the costs of public services,” she said.
Balalanda also appealed to the Managers of the MDAs and the Private Sector to consider partnering with the UPPC—noting that” we now offer a standard, quick and competitive output, probably unmatched in the industry.”
UPPC and Vision Group are both government owned agencies with majority shares.