ICT Ministry and JICA To Launch ICT Industry Promotion Project In Uganda

Through the ICT Industry Promotion Project, known as UG-Connect, the ROD is supposed to announce access to one of the world's most digitized countries, Japan, and its high technical expertise, market, and platforms.


The ICT Industry Promotion Project has been formally established by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The launch took place on Thursday at the National ICT Innovation Hub during the first Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting.

The JCC, which is the highest-level decision-making committee, is led by Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary of the MoICT & NG and the Project Director, and is composed of various stakeholders from the government, academia, and the commercial sector.

Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and National Guidance signed a Record of Discussion (ROD) with JICA in November 2022 to improve the ICT ecosystem and hasten the creation of jobs for Ugandan youth.

Through the ICT Industry Promotion Project, known as UG-Connect, the ROD is supposed to announce access to one of the world’s most digitized countries, Japan, and its high technical expertise, market, and platforms.

A conceptual framework for an enabling environment to assist the ICT services industry is established, and policy support is one of the project’s four expected results.

people Resource Development: In partnership with the ICT industry’s stakeholders, a practical training program is devised and implemented to boost the competitiveness of ICT people resources (such as software engineers).

Business matching: By boosting the competitiveness of Ugandan businesses, business matchmaking between domestic and international ICT companies is encouraged. Mentorship is also used to strengthen and encourage entrepreneurship and technology-driven business.

With the introduction of the UJ-Connect, Uganda’s ICT sector is set to make a substantial advancement. The project seeks to establish a healthy ecosystem that will propel economic development, the creation of jobs, and technical innovation in Japan by utilizing its knowledge and resources.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde, made the following statements during the meeting: “Our country’s biggest advantage is its young and dynamic population with an average age of 16 years and at least 30,000 university graduates annually. Because of this, we must concentrate on providing our young people with worthwhile career possibilities.

She told the group that the UJ-Connect Project is a revolutionary project with a defined goal to achieve Uganda’s prioritized areas in the Digital Transformation Roadmap over the following four years, not just another cooperation. We seek to promote sustainable growth in the ICT sector by developing a strong regulatory framework (output 1), fostering ICT people resources (output 2), and assisting the innovation and start-up ecosystem (outputs 3 and 4).

Mr. Yiochi Inoue, the Chief Representative of JICA, also emphasized that the UJ-Connect project will work to strengthen the ICT ecosystem in Uganda. This will be demonstrated through a variety of indicators, including an increase in the number of ICT companies, the creation of a platform for matching human resources with ICT engineers, the establishment of a long-term program to support tech entrepreneurs, and an increase in business matching between regional and international ICT companies, among others.

“Last week, we held a one-day consultative workshop with players from the private sector involved in the ICT ecosystem where we extensively discussed the priority areas of the project carried out by our project team, including; Application Software (such as Mobile App / Web App), Database Management and Analysis, Cybersecurity, among others. As you will learn later in the program, the project team will endeavor to strengthen these areas through the various project deliverables.

H.E. The ICT sector in Uganda is already expanding, driven by the government and private businesses, including domestic and foreign start-ups, as it contributes to the high value added to the industry through digital transformation, according to Mr. Hidemoto Fukuzawa, The Ambassador to Japan in Uganda. “I am hopeful that the project will promote the growth of the ICT industry and it will lead to the growth of the republic of Uganda,” he continued.

He added that by creating a platform for business matching, the UJ-Connect initiative will support the expansion of ICT businesses as well as the development of human capacity, particularly that of UICT (Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology) workers and ICT human resources.

In his keynote speech, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, Minister of ICT and National Guidance, expressed his gratitude to Japan for working with the government of Uganda on many development efforts through the Japanese Ambassador to Uganda and JICA.

He also stressed that ICT has been incorporated into all programs for Uganda’s social and economic development since the government recognizes the value of ICT in supporting national development.

“The Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Japan have had friendly ties for a long time. The Japanese government has supported numerous development initiatives in Uganda throughout the years, including, among other things, programmes to increase capacity and skill Ugandans. I am overjoyed to see that Japanese assistance to Uganda has now expanded to include ICTs,” he remarked.

The Ugandan government has made considerable investments in developing the ICT infrastructure throughout the nation, ensuring that more people have access to the Internet and other digital services.