Ministry of ICT and National Guidance through its NIISP program held the second cohort of innovation Awards at the Ministry headquarters on 26 June 2019 where 60 winning innovators were given grants up to a total of 100 million UGX (Approx 27,000 USD) per innovator to mature their products, build enterprises and penetrate the market.
During the ceremony, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT and National Guidance Hon. Bagiire Vincent Waiswa, said the NIISP (National ICT Initiatives Support Program) aims to facilitate the creation of an ICT Innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurship development.
Government has embarked on building Innovation hubs countrywide to support efforts to increase innovation. The hubs will intensify creativity to transform Uganda’s economy.
The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Frank K Tuwmebaze (MP), said ICT is one of the four key pillars identified by in the National Development Plan II for driving Uganda’s growth. He thanked cabinet for allocating resources for ICT innovation to solve local problems.
The Minister also said the Ministry which he leads will develop a law in Support of the BUBU (Buy Uganda Build Uganda) Policy in the ICT Sector. Before an institution buys software built abroad or built by foreign firms, it should first exhaust the local market. He added, ‘If an institution has a challenge in health, security, education, agriculture, tourism, finance, public service and other sectors, it should first throw it to the innovators to develop a solution for them’.
The theory behind the NIISP Program is that people should go to school to learn, universities should skill people to innovate, and people should innovate to earn.
The chief guest at the Ceremony, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Rukahana Rugunda said Government remains committed to extending its support for ICT as the nexus for Uganda’s development.
The Ministry has also set aside 300 million (Approx 80,100 USD) to support innovators through the Innovation hubs it has set up