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National ICTPolicy Frame Work in Uganda

 

Developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have dramatically changed the way information is collected, stored, processed, disseminated and used, thus making it the most powerful tool for modernization and development.

There are three areas of focus in the ICT Policy:

(a) Information as a resource for development,

(b) Mechanisms for accessing information,

(c) ICT as an industry, including e-business, software development and

manufacturing.

The policy recognizes that the three areas are not mutually exclusive. Rather, the new ICT have led to convergence between the media and telecommunications. For instance, on a multi-media computer system, one can read online newspapers and other publications, watch television stations and listen to various radio stations as well as getting a wide variety of information from different websites.

Although the majority of the population is still dependent on the conventional and traditional information delivery systems, especially radio, new ICT can greatly enhance the efficiency of these systems in delivering development information.

ICT has been identified as one of the rapidly growing areas that have the potential to ‘leap-frog’ Uganda to benefit from the globalised economy.  E-commerce and ICT-based services have been earmarked among the eight priority areas for export development, particularly through the Smart Strategic

Partnership programme between government, private investors and development partners.

The mandate to oversee media and information management falls under the Directorate of Information, President’s Office, and that of overseeing telecommunications is under the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications. However, since information and communication cut across many sectors, the implementation of the policy will involve various ministries,  local authorities, development partners, NGOs, as well as the private sector. The opportunities brought about by developments in ICT require a new legal and regulatory framework. Once the policy is launched, the relevant legislation will be put in place to ensure a secure and conducive environment for the policy to work.

When the policy is successfully implemented, it will stimulate more participation in the socio-economic political and other developmental activities, which should ultimately underpin sustainable national development and lead to improved standards of living for the majority of Ugandans.

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