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microsoftUganda Technology And Management University(UTAMU)  has partnered with Microsoft Corporation in a bid to reduce the digital divide in Uganda by creating translated versions of Microsoft Operating Systems and online webpage content into local languages.

This was revealed by the Director for Engagement, Research and Innovation , Assoc. Prof. Dr. Florence Tushabe.

She says that both UTAMU and Microsoft officials met and discussed ways on how to work together to reach out to majority of Ugandans to adopt and use technology using their mother tongues.

During the meeting, both parties noted that a greater percentage of people in Uganda shy away from using computers, smart phones, ipads and other gadgets simply because they are customized in a language they are not conversant with.

“Our local people continue to miss out on important information on all aspects of life because they cannot use these gadgets. As a result, their communication is limited and chances of boosting their business enterprises through networking remain minimal”, Tushabe told the Microsoft delegation.

In attendance at the meeting was Ms. Carla Hurd, the Senior Program Manager, Mr. Erek Milewsk the Senior TWC Strategist from Microsoft office in Seattle and a Microsoft Corporation representative from Nigeria, Mr. Paul Roy. The meeting was held at UTAMU Board Room at the University’s Head Office on Twed Towers on Friday, 30th June 2014.

Tushabe noted that technology should not marginalize the non- elites but rather empower people at grassroot level to live better and simplified lives.

“Technology fosters communication, enables people to network and provides the latest information on a range of issues that affect communities”, she added.

Tushabe will spearhead the local efforts to create translated versions of Microsoft Operating Systems as well as online translation of webpage content into our local languages.

Over the years, Tushabe has accrued enormous experience in localizing technology by translating it into local languages. She previously worked on a project that translated Google interface and Mozilla Firefox into Luo and Runyakitara dialects.

Tushabe urges those interested in volunteering to translate IT words into their local languages to send an email to ftushabe@utamu.ac.ug.

Source: UTAMU