News that Uganda Technology and Management University (Utamu) has developed a software that can ably track criminals using sample of their DNA is refreshing [Daily Monitor, September 28].
This is the kind of innovation and positive contribution to both knowledge and betterment of our society that our education system should generate.
This new innovation, created by Utamu students of computer security and forensics, when fully developed, would reportedly be able to help both police and telecom companies track and place suspects at scene of crime or exonerate them when wrongly implicated.
By wider implication, the new applications programme app also has the potential to quickly help investigators resolve crime by making airtight, both evidence collection and prosecution. We all celebrate this novelty of an innovation.
But the bigger question for country is, what are we, as a country, doing with these isolated flashes of innovations from our brainy and tech-savvy youngsters?
These instances of creativity have been reported at different times from Makerere University to Kyambogo University, and Mabrara University of Science and Technology.
But just what has our government done to streamline these flashes of innovations? Has our government any plans to set up tech hubs across these universities and country to support such ICT innovations and be able quickly transform them into the desired benefits for the end-users?
These tech hubs would be incubators for both these young ICT innovators and future entrepreneurs in ICT, which is the number one global driver of new ways of doing things.
Way back in 2014, we proposed that government takes up the suggestion by Prof Venansius Baryamureeba of Utamu and enforce universal teaching of ICT.
This implies ICT skills should be embedded in the curriculum and its learning made mandatory at all levels of the education.
For now, the current teaching and learning of ICT at Advanced Level of Education is inadequate and serves mostly examination purposes. We propose is structured ICT innovation centre, namely tech hubs, to link up co-innovators, incubate and accelerate their innovations.
Going forward, in order to give us a head-start and comparative advantage in the region, our MPs should think of tax waivers on ICTs and data bundles as incentives to grow the sector and keep the ICT agenda relevant in driving Uganda’s socio-economic development as promised by President Museveni.