By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: The Private Sector Foundation Uganda in conjunction with German Cooperation (GiZ), Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA), The East African Community and other stakeholders held an ICT4 Business seminar at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) on Tuesday September 10, 2019, which was intended to boost E-commerce various sectors of the economy.
The seminar which was held at USSIA offices at UMA grounds from 9:30am- 1pm was attended by several stakeholders included representatives from various corporate organisations in Uganda such as media, Farmers’ groups, ICT gurus and service providers.
The seminar was also aimed at making participants aware of the needs and benefits for digitalisation in their respective organisations.
Digitalisation is increasingly gaining momentum, increasing companies’ profits, raising their efficiency and creating new markets and business models.
Based on strategic partnership, “Digital Africa”, the German Federal Ministry For Economic Cooperation and development (BMZ) and the East African Community (EAC) established the regional Centre for Excellence for Information and Communication Technology in East Africa (CENIT@EA) at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST).
CENIT@EA also known as the Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology in East Africa is a regional hub that provides relevant skills and know –how for the digital transformation through teaching, training and research.
In order to design its activities and to cater for the needs of the Private Sector and solve specific issues through digital solutions. CENIT@EA is committed to closely involving all relevant stake holders from private and public sector.
Few briefs from the Seminar:
The meeting started at 9:30am with welcome remarks from the GIZ representative Simon Hochstein. He invited participants to discuss digitalisation and what digitalization can bring to their organisations.
This seminar aimed at fostering networks and cross-sector partnerships between the private and public sector with CENIT@EA.
Later, participants had opening remarks from the representative of Inter university counsel for East Africa/ IUCEA Ben Ruhinda, who is the systems officer in charge of ICT.
He said “IUEA is based in Kampala and aims at fostering collaboration between Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and recently South Sudan. IUCEA coordinates universities to bridge the gap for knowledge transfer.”
He went ahead to thank the German Government for its collaboration with East Africa.
Ronnie Mulongo, a representative from PSFU in charge of ICT for PSFU, thanked GIZ and EABC for this programme.
He said “Learning doesn’t end today and these are pertinent issues. ICT is key to ensure it helps solving certain problems. Let us tap and take advantage of the benefits of CENIT@EA.”
Dr Anael Sam, a technical and scientific coordinator at CENIT@EA talked about digitalisation and how it is changing the world.
He said “To gain from this we need, talent, skills, know-how and capacities.” Dr. Sam added that “Through trainings, all our activities on CENIT@EA are here on ground. Therefore Ugandans can equally be involved in the digitalisation process. There are some key challenges that we face though, skills and capacity building, finances, linkage to solutions and being able to show case the innovations in Uganda.”
Lynne Tukei, representing Allan Rwakatungu from Xente, took participants through their vision, which is connecting 100 million African people and 50,000 African business to the global digital economy in the next 10 years.
They are both digital and analog driven by cash. They are digital payment solutions like mobile money and bank cards, but want to make it super easy for people to make payments, access instant credit and shop using mobile phones.
The seminar ended at 1:30pm with a group photo outside the venue, which was followed by a sumptuous luncheon for the participants.