Ministry of ICT and National Guidance Uganda signs an MOU with Ministry of ICT of the Republic of Malawi

Minister of ICT & NG of the Republic of Uganda and Minister of ICT of the Republic of Malawi signing an MOU

Ministry of ICT & National Guidance  has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of ICT of the Republic of Malawi following a two day benchmarking visit by the Minister of ICT of the republic of Malawi, the Principal Secretary and other members from the Republic of Malawi.

In his remarks during the ceremony, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance of the Republic of Uganda Hon. Frank Tumwebaze said the ICT sector is a new and evolving sector which needs benchmarking in order to realize progress and that no country can succeed without Benchmarking.

Knowing what has worked in one place can enable you to import great ideas. He further said his ministry has learnt from the Malawi delegation that ICT infrastructure is still critical in terms of enabling the cost of voice and data. The cost of data and voice is still linked to infrastructure and that Ministry of ICT will continuously work towards achieving a shared infrastructure so that service provider’s cost of setup can be minimal. This is expected to lower the cost of voice and data to the end user.

The Ministry intends to achieve this through enactment of enabling Policy. In the past, Uganda has been reluctant to enforce it across board and every company builds its own infrastructure, but in future, Telco’s and ISP’s will be required to share infrastructure or to use the available infrastructure government has built. This will be both economical and environmentally friendly.

Another area of focus for Ministry of ICT is integration of ICT systems in government in order to serve citizens better. If the systems in the different government ministries and agencies communicate, it will be cheaper for government and easier to safe guard those installations in terms of ICT security.

The minister said his Ministry is also encouraging innovation to propel growth in ICT. Uganda should emulate China that instead of using WhatsApp developed her own chat platform called WeChat. Government of the Republic of Uganda to this end has put aside funds for this initiative.

Just like Uganda together with other EAC countries implemented the Northern Corridor Integration projects where they now have strong ICT presence, Ministry of ICT intends to have similar initiatives with the Republic of Malawi.

On his part, the  Minister of ICT of the Republic of Malawi – Hon. Nicholas Ndausi, said benchmarking ICT sector in the Republic of Uganda has enabled them learn a lot which they intend to implement in their own country. The MOU is going to provide a platform upon which they can implement what they have learnt but also to pursue joint projects, he said.

According to the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of ICT & NG Uganda– Hon. Bagiire Vincent Waiswa, government of Uganda has been very successful in implementing the Integrated Financial Management System and executing Universal Access funds through Rural Communications Development funds which has connected Secondary schools. Uganda Revenue Authority is one of the most IT complaint tax bodies in Africa and this was one of the reasons Malawi came to benchmark Uganda.

The Memorandum of Understanding covered six areas of cooperation which includes: Electronic government (e-government), Cyber Security, Policy and Regulation, and Research and Innovation.

The cooperation in these areas will enable the two governments promote local content, enhance security of data and information they have online, build capacity in Policy and Regulation, advance in research and innovation and reduce duplication of initiatives.

 

Minister of ICT & NG of the Republic of Uganda together with Minister of ICT of the Republic of Malawi and other officials pause for a group photo after signing the MOU at MOICT