By Spy Uganda
Vice President Jessica Alupo has launched a digital hub for the Teso sub-region in Eastern Uganda.
Launched during a colourful ceremony at Katakwi district headquarters, the hub seeks to provide youth, women, elderly, jua-kali, enterprise owners, students and farmers with knowledge and skills in digital technology to enhance their capabilities to produce and market their products worldwide.
The program code-named Huawei Digi-truck Project was early this year launched by President Yoweri Museveni to provide free digital skills training for more than 10,000 beneficiaries over a period of three years.
While launching the project, the vice president said the program will create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the informal sector as it will enable small business owners to participate in regional and national trade.
“Digital transformation is one of the key drivers of effective human capital development, it therefore gives me much pleasure to launch this project,” she said.
The program is to be implemented in a phased way starting with Katakwi, Amuria and Kaperabyong district. Later the program will traverse in the rest of the remaining districts which make up Teso sub-region. She lauded Huawei for demystifying ICT by making it all-inclusive to farmers, youths, women, young girls and boys, the elderly etc.
The vice president called upon the youth to be very generous with the skills acquired to achieve a multiplier effect. She urged the youth to maintain discipline during the course and asked Huawei to establish an ICT resource centre in Katakwi to promote the continuity and sustainability of the program. She also asked Huawei to equip parish chiefs with computer knowledge and skills for the success of PDM.
Alupo noted that the Government considers Huawei as a very strategic and important partner in the transformation of Uganda. We also acknowledge with appreciation Huawei for building smart infrastructure here, such as aiding education through ICT,” she said.
Running in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development and an international social enterprise, Close the Gap, the Uganda DigiTruck project is aligned with Uganda’s 2040 vision, National Development Plan, and Education Digital Agenda Strategy.
Katakwi district RDC Maj. Godfrey Katamba stressed that the focus of these initiatives includes promoting digital foundation skills, digital communications and information, digital transactions, using the internet for problem-solving, online safety, civic responsibility, and data privacy, which will promote digitalization of the informal sector (Jua-Kali) enterprises for productivity and job growth in the country.
The DigiTruck program is coordinated with development and training partners globally to close the access and knowledge gap in digital literacy so that no one is left behind.”
Converted from a used shipping container, DigiTrucks are mobile classrooms mounted on trucks.
Fully solar-powered, their mobility enables them to be driven to remote and underserved communities that lack training facilities and, in some cases, a power supply.
Each 40-hour course trains students in digital literacy skills such as how to use devices, office software, and the Internet, alongside soft skills such as writing a resume, applying for jobs online, and running an online business.
Connected by 4G, each DigiTruck can accommodate 20 learners in one session and comes equipped with the Huawei IdeaHub smart screen, 21 Huawei smartphones, and 21 Huawei laptops, all of which run on solar power installed on top of the truck.
Huawei Technologies Uganda deputy managing director Gao Jian said Uganda is an important partner for China in Africa.
”The two countries enjoy profound traditional friendship. In recent years, political mutual trust has continued to be consolidated, the practical cooperation in all fields yielding fruitful achievements. China wishes to cooperate with Uganda continuously to promote the Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership in scoring new achievements,” he said.
He added that “the DigiTruck Project that Huawei started in Uganda is one of the examples of Chinese companies in Uganda performing due social responsibilities.
He encouraged beneficiaries to use the skills acquired during the DigiTruck training to indulge in e-commerce, sell their farm produce online and also to get jobs.