The Permanent Secretary for Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Hon Vincent Bagiire Waiswa, has asked parliament not approve any loans meant to import software into the country saying Ugandans have developed capacity to develop software locally.
Hon. Bagiire made remarks while a team of officials from the ICT ministry appeared before the parliamentary Committee on National Economy to assess the impact of COVID-19 and the preparedness of the ministry to handle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bagiire appealed to the committee to support import substitution in the ICT sector in order to encourage local software engineering and ensure government import IT software which cannot be developed locally.
“I appeal to you that should anybody bring a loan here which requires software, they must first prove that Ugandans cannot develop that software because we have developed capacity, Ugandans can now develop a software that can serve the country” Hon. Bagiire said.
Bagiire stated that Ugandans have been able to develop application software for Academic Management System, Electronic Management System, Clinic Management System and Electric management System, and much more can be achieved if Ugandan engineers are empowered to develop capacity in ICT.
The committee however raised concern over revenues the country loses in unpaid content run by giant tech companies including Facebook and Google.
Mr. Bagire explained that an arrangement for a single digital market for East African countries is in the pipeline to address the issue.
The state minister for ICT, Hon. Peter Ogwang implored MPs on the committee for support to the ICT sector owing to the role it continues to play in facilitating businesses and creating employment.
“If you crosscheck for facts, the most leading 5 courses in the world are all in the IT sector; even if you look at which companies make the biggest profits in the world, they are all in the ICT sector” Hon Ogwang said.
He appealed to the population to embrace the use of ICT in all spheres of life, like communication business technology among others all embedded in (ICT).