On Monday morning, Hon. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi and Hon. Joyce Ssebugwawo were officially sworn in as Minister and State Minister for ICT and National Guidance, respectively at a swearing event held at Kololo Independence Grounds.
Hon. Baryomunsi, and Hon. Ssebugwawo were selected by President Museveni to take on the Ministerial roles in his new 2021/26 Cabinet. The newly appointed Cabinet comprises of 29 Ministers and 50 State Ministers, among which is Hon. Baryomunsi, and Hon. Ssebugwawo.
Having taken the oath for the Ministerial roles, Hon. Baryomunsi who was the State Minister of Health for General Duties succeeds Hon. Judith Nabakooba, while Hon. Ssebugwawo succeeds Hon. Peter Ogwang. Nabakooba is now the Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development while Ogwang is the Minister of State for Economic Monitoring, Office of the President.
During their time Hon. Baryomunsi, and Hon. Ssebugwawo will work in hand with government agencies such as NITA Uganda, NIISP, NIRA, UCC, to mention a few to keep growing, improving, and developing the ICT sector. This includes making the internet affordable, completing the Last Mile Connectivity Project, supporting startups and innovators, continue integrating government MDAs to ease e-Service delivery, establishing multi-purpose ICT parks, establish ICT Hubs, to mention a few.
During Hon. Nabakooba’s time, the Ministry was able to achieve but not limited to;
- 4,000KMs of fiber optic were cable laid.
- Over 700 government MDAs, local governments have been connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure.
- Over USD$200 million (roughly UGX709.6 billion) was generated from commercialization on the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) in the last five years.
- 31 police stations and 9 UPDF sites were connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure.
- Free Wi-Fi connectivity established to serve the public with free internet.
- The National Broadband Policy 2018 was approved.
- 17 regulations developed under the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) Act 2013.
- The National data center and disaster recovery site were upgraded to the Tier 3 classification hosting 60 MDAs, over 90 critical applications, and 358 websites.
- The National Strategy on the fourth industrial revolution was developed to guide the country in the adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and 5G.
- Government Citizens Interaction Centre (GCIC) was strengthened to provide social media communication on government programs.
The ICT sector has come of age and today, it is the fastest-growing sector largely driven by the telecommunication sub-sector —growing at 20% per annum. The sector employs more than 1.3 million people with over 400,000+ companies engaged in information technology, telecommunications, broadcasting, postal and courier, and audio-visual.
While swearing-in for his sixth term as the President of Uganda in May, Museveni said ICT is one of the four economic sectors he urged Ugandans to enter because “it’s where jobs and wealth are”.