As a way of creating an enabling environment for information and communications technology (ICT) development, which can eventually lead to the transformation of Uganda into a knowledge-based country, the government through the ministry of ICT is set to establish an innovation fund to assist young innovators.
ICT Minister John Nasasira revealed this during the fifth edition of the ACIA awards gala dinner held last week.
“My ministry has now developed a five-year ICT Sector Strategy and Investment Plan. Under the plan, an innovation fund will be established to assist young innovators,” he said.
Nasasira applauded Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for inculcating young people into the culture of creativity and analytical thinking, saying it was a big step towards catching up with the rest of the world.
“Let us together strive to raise a generation of innovators and entrepreneurs rather than job seekers,” he added. ICT has been recognized within Uganda’s Vision 2040 as an industry that can enable job creation, facilitate economic growth and increase productivity.
Godfrey Mutabazi, the executive director of UCC, noted that the continued growth in the number of entrants into the awards further compelled UCC to continue facilitating the growth of ICT innovation in Uganda, explore the various opportunities and address the challenges that arise with novelties.
For example, the number of submissions has grown from 163 entrants in 2013 to 281 last year and 398 entries for this year’s edition.
“We encourage all innovators or inventors in Uganda to step forth and bring your innovation to platforms like this one, which facilitate collaboration, learning, access to investors and of course reward for the efforts made,” he added.
Michael Niyitegeka, the head judge, said the quality and quantity of the submissions had improved but noted that future entrants needed to pay more attention to the categories and avoid submitting in the wrong ones.