Inauguration of the Information Access Center

The Inauguration of the Information Access Center (IAC) was held at the Ministry of ICT offices on 2nd June 2015.The ceremony was officiated by Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda with the presence of Hon. John Nasasira (Minister of ICT), Hon. Nyombi Thembo (Minister of State for ICT), James Saaka (ED- NITA-U), Dr. Jimmy Pat Saamanya (PS – Ministry of ICT) and His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.The ICT sector has recorded tremendous achievements towards the realisation of the National Vision as partly measured by growing indicators in access and availability of telecommunications services, vibrancy of the ICT sector and the sector contribution to GDP and employment.  Taking a snapshot of macro level statistics, ICT has been among the fastest growing sectors – growing at an average of 19.3% per annum, contributing about 2.5% to the overall GDP and realising 478 Billion in 2014 in form of tax revenue.   The sector employs over 1million people both directly and indirectly.  Other indicators include:

  1. Telephone subscriptions (mobile and fixed) which stand at 20.63 Million active subscribers as at December 2014 compared to 18.34 million as at December 2013
  2. The Number of mobile money subscriptions: 18.53 million in December 2014 compared to 14.24 million in December 2013
  3. The value of mobile money transactions is over 13 trillion as at December 2014
  4. The Internet subscribers rose from 3.6million in 2013 to 5.7million in 2014
  5. The Internet subscribers rose from 7.3million in 2013 to 10.8million in 2014.

“In order to consolidate the above achievements, my Ministry has come up with a 5-year Strategic Investment Plan whose vision is “a knowledge-based Uganda enabled by a vibrant ICT Sector,” mentioned Hon. John Nasasira. The target outcomes of the plan include:

  1. Increased access and usage of ICT equipment and devices;
  2. Average annual ICT GDP growth of 20%;
  3. Overall improvement of Uganda’s ranking on global ICT indices; and
  4. Improved access to high speed broadband services to facilitate communication, economic activities and service delivery in all parts of Uganda.

This multi-stakeholder Plan identifies concrete strategies and interventions in ten (10) priority areas, namely:

  • ICT Governance;
  • Human Capital Development and Planning;
  • ICT Infrastructure;
  • Information Security;
  • Research, Innovation and Development;
  • ICT Health, Safety and Environment;
  • ICT in other Sectors;
  • Promoting e-Services and Local Content;
  • e-Government; and
  • ICT Industry Promotion in Target Markets;

Under the e-government component, the sector prioritized “e-participation” among the key actions for deployment of ICT in governance.  E-participation refers to the use of information and communication technologies to broaden and deepen political participation by enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives.The collaboration with the Republic of Korea in establishing an Information Access Center was initiated in 2013 during the Global e-Government Forum. In line with this, the Government of the Republic of Korea offered Uganda a grant of USD 300,000 (equivalent UGX 900m) of technical assistance that enabled the successful establishment of the Internet Access Center located at the Ministry of ICT Headquarters. The major objectives of the Centre are to:

  1. Harness information and communication revolution to improve productivity and the quality of life;
  2. Contribute to bridging the digital divide by offering citizens opportunities of sharing information; and
  3. Offer training facilities to promote IT literacy and e-Government services

Hon. Nasasira reiterated that the Korean Government has as well assisted National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) in the development of e-Government Master plan and a number of feasibility studies in specialized areas such as shared services, integration of national databases and disaster recovery sites.“In conclusion, I would like to stress that for ICT initiatives to have the desired impact on communities, there must be deliberate effort to create awareness and sensitization among users.  We hope that this Information Access Centre (IAC) is one of the channels to bring this initiative into the public domain,” mentioned Hon. Nasasira.