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Uganda launches inclusive digital govt roadmap to facilitate access to services

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Uganda launches inclusive digital govt roadmap to facilitate access to services
 

Uganda has unveiled a digital transformation plan which details how the government intends to offer public services to citizens no matter who they are or where they are found.

The Digital Transformation Roadmap, supported by the United Nations Development Program and launched August 17, hinges on five key pillars, according to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for ICT and National Guidance, Aminah Zawedde.

In a video published by NTV Uganda, Zawedde explained that the pillars of the plan include skills development, digital services, cybersecurity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the enabling environment and infrastructure.

She said apart from building an inclusive digital future where Ugandans of all social class and status will be able to have access to digital services, the plan is also aimed at providing those to be employed by the public services skills which will be needed to better render digital services.

“Digital skilling will be a requirement just like we have mathematics and English in primary and secondary schools,” said Zawedde, who also noted that the skilling program will see certificates awarded to trainees.

“For ICT, we are coming up with a certificate programme and we are recommending it to the Ministry of Public Service and the Public Service Commission. We encourage people to have this certificate as we do recruitments. Those who are in government currently are going to be trained and given the certificates. That way, we will ensure that the uptake of services is guaranteed.”

Further explaining the kernel of the digital roadmap, Zawedde said: “We are looking forward to growing the manufacturing industry of ICT equipment and devices in order for us to uptake digital services. We have a number of engagements with the telecoms companies as well as the private sector to see how we can come up with low-cost devices. You know, it’s after we have the devices that we can get people to join the digital transformation journey.”

The plan also includes goals of connecting 90 percent of Ugandan households to the internet by 2040, and moving 95 percent of government services online, the Nile Post reports.

The country’s digital identity system, meanwhile, is being challenged in court on grounds that it undermines Ugandans’ rights.

This development comes as the government is pushing ahead with a constitutional and electoral reform agenda. Among the proposed electoral reforms is the introduction of biometrics in the country’s electoral process ahead of the 2026 general polls.

The East African reports that this was one of the recommendations of the Constitutional Court when it ruled on petitions during the 2016 presidential election which was disputed.

Another proposal has to do with changes to rules on the determination of citizenship, which could affect the status of stateless persons in the country, the outlet notes.

A Ugandan government spokesperson recently sounded an alarm on the high rate of foreigners acquiring the country’s national ID for passport applications.

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