The ICT and National Guidance minister Frank Tumwebaze has cautioned young innovators against selling their works at an early stage. Speaking at a conference dubbed Assessing the impact of disruptive innovations on growth and development in Africa, at Kampala Serena Hotel today; Tumwebaze said government has stepped in to help young people to expand their innovations.
Speaking at a conference dubbed "Assessing the impact of disruptive innovations on growth and development in Africa," at Kampala Serena Hotel today; Tumwebaze said government has stepped in to help young people to expand their innovations.
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The dialogue was organised by Leo Africa Institute, an organisation working directly with young and emerging leaders. It attracted young innovators from Uganda and Rwanda.
Tumwebaze said the long awaited construction of the innovation hub promised by government will commence soon. Last week, he said, his ministry received land from Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) where the hub will be situated at Uganda Information and Technology Institute in Nakawa. The hub will be constructed by Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces (UPDF) engineering brigade. The hub will provide working space to innovators in Kampala.
Tumwebaze said government will be identifying innovators with good ideas to fund. He challenged innovators to come up with ideas that can solve societal problems. "You must identify problems that can be solved through innovations. Focus on solving those challenges…Innovations have and continue to expand markets by eliminating barriers, creating jobs through demand for your products," he said.
He also revealed that his ministry is piecing together a digital policy. "The ICT sector has a number of disjointed policy documents. Each ministry has a strategic policy on how to shape its ICT. As a sector, we are coming up with a digital vision for the country. This digital vision is going to be a selling milestone for each sector and it will define what each ministry should do to enhance in ICT," he said.
Cost of internet data
Tumwebaze also revealed that government is interrogating factors pushing up internet data costs in Uganda. He said government will address data cost problems through a policy framework and regulations if necessary.
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Leo Africa founder and senior director, Awel Uwihanganye, said Africa needs to establish its own Silicon Valley through "investment in environments and infrastructure to enable an economic system that supports critical thought, incubate ideas and accelerate them into viable ventures."