The Minister for Information, Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze has challenged innovators in the country to focus more on how they can use their innovations to generate income and eradicate the economic issues that the country is faced with.
He said there are exciting innovations in Uganda but “the challenge today is how to link science, technology and innovation to poverty reduction, job creation, e-governance, sustainable livelihoods, general service delivery and improving the well-being of citizens.”
Tumwebaze was Friday speaking at the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) annual innovation awards gala dubbed ACIA Awards.
He noted that; as a developing Country, Uganda should engage in knowledge intensive activities in order to promote innovation, at the same ensuring that this innovation is of gainful value to its holders.
“New ICTs have the capability to transform the country’s agriculture, generate its much-needed improvement to food and nutritional security, as well as boost its green and blue revolutions just as it can do across many other spectrums of e-governance,” he said.
He revealed that parliament and cabinet had approved his idea of the innovation support programme which he said will be rolled out soon.
“My sector will not only be stopping at Recognition programs like ACIA but will now be giving real support following a criterion that the experts will set. From ACIA, we are moving to bigger and sustainable interventions,” said Tumwebaze.
In his remarks, UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabaazi lauded the participants for the “wonderful innovations” they managed to develop and the energy they showed during the whole process.
“Seeing this house full of people doing such wonderful work gives us an impression that the country has a future since ICT is the engine of growth in any economy currently,” he said.
Mutabaazi further lauded the previous ACIA award winners whose innovations have gone ahead to earn international recognition for how outstanding they are.
He called for increased participation in the campaign, urging innovators to pitch ideas that can readily get market from local audience and those that can relate to the development of the country.