By Andrew Irumba
Frank Tumwebaze, the minister for Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and National Guidance, has launched the ICT Innovations Expo 2019, which will be held at the Institute ICT in Nakawa, on December 17, 2019.
According to sources from the ministry of ICT, the Expo is aimed at exhibiting Uganda’s fast growing innovations in technology and bringing together all Ugandan researchers in ICT and computer applications.
While launching the Expo, Minister Tumwebaze said that “We call upon all innovators with products already on the market (working alone or with a hub) to use this opportunity to pitch their products to the market.”
He added that “We cannot really continue to encourage our people to be net consumers of other people’s innovations.”
It should be noted that Tumwebaze has played a great role in promoting ICT innovations and research in Uganda.
Just a few years ago ICT innovators protested against government neglecting funding the sector, which prompted Tumwebaze to intervene by setting up the National ICT Initiatives Support Programme (NIISP) which has since brought together several researchers.
The project has since been so helpful at creating an ICT Innovations ecosystem and broadened the market for Uganda’s digital products, especially Applications and softwares developed locally.
While encouraging researchers to engage more into ICT innovations, Tumwebaze said that;
“Every year we award grants. We give them money to acquire intellectual property, improve their products and or package their products better.”
He noted that the ministry has so far supported 70 mature innovations in the ICT space, without mentioning the others supported by the private sector.
He also said that “Locally we can proudly say that we can survive on our locally made ICT systems.
Tumbwebaze revealed that all innovators who want to participate in the Expo or submit their innovations will have to use the following link; http://niisp.ict.go.ug/ to register.