Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT & National Guidance conducts review meeting for Local Government Digital Transformation Progress

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In a recent meeting convened by the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and the Local Government IT Officers Association (LGITOA) on April 11, 2024, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Zawedde, appreciated the instrumental role played by Local Government IT Officers in spearheading digital transformation initiatives within districts. Underlining the Ministry’s unwavering dedication as the mother ministry of both government IT and communication officers, she emphasized the provision of crucial support, guidance, and resources essential for their effective coordination and implementation of government programs and projects.

Dr. Zawedde emphasized the Ministry’s commitment to advancing the digital transformation agenda, particularly through the rollout of eServices. Praising the formation of the Local Government IT Officers Association (LGITOA), she recognized its potential in monitoring progress at the district level, ensuring a cohesive journey towards technological advancement.

Illustrating the roadmap towards digital transformation, she highlighted the five interconnected pillars: infrastructure development, digital services, innovation, digital skilling, and cybersecurity. With a focus on enhancing digital skilling for both IT officers and the public.

The meeting discussed various E-Services being implemented post-successful local development, such as EMIS, eGP, and PDMIS, stressing the indispensable role of IT officers in driving their successful deployment and utilization at the district level. This interconnected approach not only emphasizes the importance of digital skills but also highlights the essential involvement of IT officers in implementing and managing digital services, thus contributing significantly to the overall digital transformation agenda in local communities.

The association appreciated the Ministry for the support rendered in propelling digital initiatives forward. Building upon this foundation of collaboration, they urged the Ministry to ensure District IT officers areengaged right from the inception of programs. Such proactive involvement would enable their full immersion in planning and execution processes, amplifying their impact within local communities.

Other several key points that were addressed, include; the necessity for continuous capacity building and training for IT officers across districts. “We urgently require support in capacity building” stressed the LG IT officers during their discussion with the Ministry. “Enhancing our skills in website maintenance and updates is essential for maximizing the impact of our digital services and effectively engaging with our community.”

Dr. Aminah Zawedde emphasized the interdependency between communication officers and IT officers, highlighting that their roles are intertwined to facilitate effective progress at the district level. “Effective communication plays a pivotal role in supporting the technical advancements spearheaded by IT officers, while the technological infrastructure provided by IT officers enables communication officers to disseminate information efficiently”. She spoke.

Furthermore, the meeting acknowledged the prevalent challenges in IT staffing and resource allocation, highlighting the pressing need to address the existing gaps in filled positions. Presently, out of the 925 established positions across various administrative levels (city, district, municipality, town council), only 269 positions are occupied. This indicates that 29% of these positions are currently filled, emphasizing the critical need for strategic recruitment and deployment of IT personnel to meet the optimal functioning of E-services at all levels of governance, thus facilitating the seamless implementation of government projects and services.

Overall, this internal review underscores the Ministry’s steadfast commitment to advancing digital transformation initiatives aimed at enhancing governance and service delivery at the local government level. Through collaborative efforts with LGITOA and other stakeholders, the Ministry is dedicated to driving inclusive digital transformation, thereby improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government projects for the benefit of communities across the nation.