Uganda, among other African Governments has been called upon to embrace ICT if the continent is to measure up to the competition in the global sphere against the current socio-economic and political challenges.
The Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi made the call yesterday at the opening of the three day 9th international conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training currently being hosted by the Government of Uganda at Munyonyo in Kampala.
According to a statement issued by the Vice President’s office today the conference has attracted over 1500 participants including policymakers, regulators and academicians as well as representatives of international telecommunication companies and agencies from 67 countries across the world to deliberate on Africa’s sustainable use of ICT, particularly in enhancing learning.
Mr Ssekandi also called for the expansion of broadband services across the continent, saying it will facilitate greater economic growth by enabling e- based applications.
He also urged African countries to promote online communication to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in delivering timely services in critical areas of Governance, commerce, education, health and agriculture, among others.
Mr Ssekandi noted that enhanced use of ICT on the continent will also go a long way in facilitating the continent and individual country efforts on integration, fighting crime and terrorism, management of disasters and climate.
He also advised participants to come up with legal framework that will be backed by inter-governmental laws and policies to address bottlenecks on the general effective enhancement and use of ICT on the continent.
According to the Minister for ICT Eng. John Nasasira, Uganda is already reviewing the National ICT policy to come up with what he called holistic objectives and strategies for the critical sectors.
Nasasira also told the participants that Uganda had already enacted regulatory instruments like the Electronic Transactions Act 2011, the Electronic signature Act 2011, the computer misuse Act 2011 and currently finalizing the data protection and privacy law which, he said should give confidence to users of the internet.