ICT funding still slow
By BiztechAfrica – Dec. 3, 2012, 4:12 p.m.
By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda
Funding of ICT institutions and initiatives is still low in Uganda despite the realization of the potential this sector has to economic development. This was noted at the recently concluded career guidance fare at the Uganda Institute of Information Communication Technology organized by National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U).
The principal of the institution Eng. Dr. Vincent Kasangaki highlighted major challenges facing the ICT sector and noted with interest that the compound stumbling block was poor funding from the government. He urged stakeholders in the industry especially the government to increase the funding in ICT. “ICT is a major player in the current economic dynamics but one has to realise that funding is very poor across Africa.”
Kasangaki also recognized the initiative by the minister of ICT, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, rooting for a paperless Uganda especially in the offices, but still stressed that this could only be achieved gradually. He also challenged the ministry of ICT to have a clear command of all institutions under its mandate.
The event, which also marked the African ICT week, was well attended by the students who also used it as a platform echo the challenges they face at school as well as the perceived challenges within the job market. The students’ fears in the job market cut across a wide spectrum right from the corruption and nepotism in the job market as well as lack of clear cut job opportunities.
John Baptist Kavuma of NITA-U encouraged the students to be optimistic and highlighted to them a wide range of job opportunities within the ICT sector. “There are many opportunities lying ahead in the sector as this is a growing sector witnessed by the laying down of the fiber optic cable and establishment of the BPO center which currently employs over 700 people and is projected to employ over 3000 in 3 years’ time”, noted Kavuma
Peter Kahiji, director of technical services from NITA-U, urged students to lay off their fears. “We must believe that the society is not fully rotten and that many organizations that value what their principals stand for will always recruit on merit. I have worked for several organizations but I always acquire the jobs that I apply for without any added advantage or canvassing.” He added, “Please lay away the notion that many people in the society have that all jobs advertised are already taken and that the advert is a mere formality”
“I have gotten to know my rights and also realize the fact that there is what is known as cyber laws,” noted Dennis Sida, a first year Technology Engineering student at the institution. “I am also enlightened by the fact that there are so many opportunities at my disposal in my career like working in an NGO and BPO as initially I had only thought of having limited options majorly in the telecommunication organisations like UCC and MTN”, he added.