What you need to know:
- Training to help public administrators document their knowledge is key for Uganda’s development.
Makerere Business School (MUBS) started training public administrators in knowledge management aimed at improving competences and practices in knowledge management.
The principal MUBS Prof Waswa Balunywa, said Uganda has a lot of knowledge that could be used in solving the country’s challenges but it is not documented for the citizens and the government to access. He explained that the country is facing major challenges due to lack of knowledge management.
“For a country to develop, it must have a strong knowledge management system and that this training will help public administrators document their knowledge. This programme will enable Uganda to transform into a sustainable knowledge society,” he said at the fifth Uganda Knowledge for Development Partnership (K4DP) meeting at MUBS last week.
This is to make Uganda become a benchmark for research, education and training, consultancy, advisory and community outreach services in knowledge management and knowledge based development at the highest international level.
Prof Balunywa noted that, “If people learn to document their knowledge through research, community outreach, and consultancy, thecountry will benefit a lot from it.”
The MUBS Knowledge and Development (MUBS-K4D) Centre in partnership with KD4, an international nonprofit organisation based in Vienna, Austria are spearheading the implementation of the knowledge agenda for uganda, first by strengthening knowledge management in the public administration of Uganda (KM4PAdU).
Funded by Islamic Development Bank and Ministry of Finance, the programme will help in the development partnership to promote better knowledge sharing and collaboration by strengthening knowledge institutions and fostering the culture of knowledge for the achievement of happy knowledgeable citizens and knowledge-driven competitive organisations in Uganda.
Prof Balunywa said the competences and practices in knowledge management will help the Government of Uganda to have all the knowledge and information needed to efficiently provide public services.
Thus, public administrators can then become role models in the transformation of Uganda into a sustainable knowledge society.
“For an individual or even an organisation or a country to succeed, you need knowledge and it is everywhere but we are not documenting it,” the academic don, said adding, “You will find somebody trying to discover electricity yet it is already discovered but what we need him to have is what the process of producing electricity is.”
Intellectual capabilities matter
The permanent secretary Ministry of Finance Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, in his keynote address said knowledge is recognised as the fundamental driver of productivity, economic growth, and development in societies world over.
In a statement read on his behalf by Mr Joseph Eyimu, commissioner Economic Development Policy and Research at the Ministry Finance, he said knowledge is a fundamental structure and the knowledge economy is largely characterised by great alliance on intellectual capabilities rather than physical input or natural resources.
“I recognise that knowledge and its application are partners for development progress, therefore the knowledge agenda is a component of Uganda’s sustainable development,” Mr Ggoobi stated.
Skill competitive youth workforce
Uganda has a large youthful labour force, with low education attainment level, limited skill set and 38 per cent of them are under educated.
Mr Ggoobi explained that this state of affairs can be explained by a range of factors that include; weak foundational base of human capital formation in the population, lack of appropriate knowledge of skills and notably attitude.
He said the MUBS’ decision to train public administrators is an early detection that the country must pay attention to these areas.
“Under Vision 2040, Uganda aspires to have a healthy literate and well informed society with access to affordable quality health care and education services. This is to be addressed by placing emphasis on skilling the youth so that they can compete globally.”
He added; “We are preparing our youth not just to be national actors but to compete on the global landscape.”
The executive director K4DP Prof Andreas Brandner, said Uganda can be on top of the economy internationally if it focused on leadership and knowledge management. He explained that the country is rich in material resources, human capital with the kind of youth, the dynamics and entrepreneurship it has.
“If we focus on knowledge in our economic development, take leadership as we develop our strategy on how to do it, Uganda can come on the top of the economy,” Prof Brandner noted, adding that knowledge management and leadership is one thing developed countries such as South Korea, China and UAE have in common, arguing that if Uganda takes it as a priority, it is easy to be top.
The manager Islamic Development Bank, Kampala, Mr Isshad Iddrisu, noted that knowledge management is an area that Uganda needs to carefully watch saying knowledge is the major driver for innovation, service delivery and decision making.
“One of the challenges affecting the public sector in Uganda, is the need to effectively manage knowledge. Knowledge is the essential resource that drives innovation, decision making and effective service delivery,” Mr Iddrisu said.
Effectively managing knowledge, public sector officials can make better decisions, improve service delivery, and foster collaboration to improve life.