Uganda’s Digital Transformation agenda has potential to employ 2.3 million people

Kampala, Uganda I HABARI DAILY I

The digital revolution is not just a global phenomenon; it’s a promising avenue for economic growth and employment for Uganda’s young population. 

Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, highlights the immense potential of the digital economy and the need for proactive and aggressive pursuit of its benefits.

The contribution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at over 9%, making a significant impact on national revenue. Moreover, the ICT sector currently provides employment for approximately 2.3 million people, highlighting its role in job creation and economic development.

The growth of ICT’s contribution to GDP is attributed to substantial initiatives by both the government and private sector stakeholders. These efforts include expanding infrastructure coverage and developing e-services, among others. 

Zawedde emphasizes the economic potential of digital platforms, with Ugandan creators earning as much as $10,000 (approximately UGX 37 million) per month through their content. YouTube alone shares more than 50% of its annual $29 billion revenue with content creators, indicating the tremendous opportunities available for Uganda’s young population.

The launch of the Digital Transformation Map of Uganda, presided over by Vice President Jesica Alupo, marks a significant milestone. This five-year roadmap (2023-2027) is designed to span all sectors of government and represents a clear path towards embracing and utilizing digital technologies across various aspects of people’s lives. 

These include employment creation, governance, education, healthcare, agriculture, commerce, and communication.

Zawedde underscores that the roadmap signifies Uganda’s commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and progress for all citizens. It aligns with the Digital Uganda Vision 2040, which aims to transform the country into a modern and prosperous nation. 

The roadmap’s objectives include empowering youth with the skills required for future jobs, promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, and fostering an environment conducive to the flourishing of digital solutions.

Uganda has been assessed using the Inclusive Digital Economy Scorecard (IDES), which identifies catalyst areas for fostering an inclusive digital economy. This assessment helps identify priority interventions to accelerate digital economic growth in domains such as policy and regulation, infrastructure, innovation, and skills.

The assessment reveals that Uganda is rated at 33% under the skills domain, 77% under the policy and regulation domain, 42% under the innovation domain, and 51% under the infrastructure domain. 

While progress has been made in policy and infrastructure, Zawedde reminisces about a time when the country had only a few computers in the university faculty. Today, Uganda is on the cusp of 5G technology, a significant leap forward in digital capabilities.

The Ugandan government actively promotes the Business Processing and Outsourcing (BPO) industry and implements policies to attract foreign investment. The BPO Policy, currently under development, aims to enhance employment rates and revenue within the country.

Vice President Alupo emphasizes the government’s role in supporting e-governance and local ICT product development. Through BPO, the government plans to provide services like the Integrated Health Management Information System, the Electronic Government Procurement System, the Online Business Registration System, and the Education Management Information System, among others.

Uganda’s journey towards a digital transformation represents a bright future, offering new opportunities for employment, innovation, and prosperity for its citizens. With the right policies and active engagement in the digital economy, Uganda is poised to unlock its full potential in the global digital landscape.

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