The recent ended 6th National Conference of Communications (NCC) hosted by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and Makerere University —highlighted the opportunities, challenges and solution for innovating in a crisis and necessity of guaranteeing reliable and resilient network connectivity.
The conference was themed “Connectivity, Resilience and Innovation in the Covid-19 era” —highlighting the advances in theory and application of communication engineering in Uganda, especially in light of recent challenges posed by the pandemic.
Hon. Judith Nabakooba the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, who was the guest speaker at the conference noted that the pandemic increased the uptake of ICT services in Uganda. “Under the new normal, usage of e-services like online shopping, e-meetings, and online streaming have become more common,” she says.
“In the Covid-19 period, technology was available for people to use. Many resorted to the regular use of internet services by shopping online, using zoom to engage in company meetings. This is a plus for the ICT industry since it shows more growth for the usage of eservices, and our desire as a ministry is to see the whole country connected to the Internet, ” Nabakooba explains.
UCC Executive Director Ms. Irene Sewakambo, added to Nabakooba’s remarks, saying the pandemic has stimulated a greater need to integrate ICT in different sectors and in aspects of our lives —as many people globally moved away from physical to virtual contact, interaction, and working.
“As we reflect on the disruption of Covid-19 to our way of life and the world around us, our challenge as scientists, researchers, and innovators, is to leverage this as an opportunity to identify and develop solutions to the critical problems facing our society today, and ways in which the various services can be improved for the betterment of our country,” said Sewakambo.
With the pandemic, changes in internet usage have made life and business more dependent on networks. Data security and privacy protection become increasingly important on both individual and organizational level.
At the conference, Huawei Uganda Delivery & Service Vice President Mr. Li Zhi called on industry players and decision makers to consider shifting from reactive defense to proactively strengthening reliability and resilience of public networks.
“At Huawei, in the past 3 decades, we have phased our cyber security approach into 4 steps, code, code to software, software to running, and supply chain security. These help in the design and implementation of secure networks with better reliability for general performance,” said Li Zhi.
Data security and privacy protection is a common but differentiated responsibility. Operator, vender, government, and citizens all have different roles to play, and the only way to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are protected is through broad consultation, dialogue and participation based on objective standards.
With this in mind, Li said Huawei is an active member of more than 400 standards organizations, industry alliances, and open source communities, contributing to these groups.
“Over the years we have submitted nearly 60,000 proposals, doing our bit to build a robust industry ecosystem for everyone,” added Li.