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Pres. Museveni Launches Huawei DigiTruck Project to Boost Digital Inclusion

President Museveni launched a Huawei DigiTruck project in Uganda to boost digital inclusion in the country and provide free digital skills training to citizens.

President Museveni launched a Huawei DigiTruck project in Uganda to boost digital inclusion in the country and provide free digital skills training to citizens.

H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has officially launched a Huawei DigiTruck project in Uganda to provide free digital skills training for more than 10,000 beneficiaries over three years. The DigiTruck project falls under the umbrella of Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative, the company’s long-term action plan for driving inclusion and sustainability across the globe.

Museveni remarked in his tweet about the Huawei DigiTruck, “I launched the Huawei DigiTruck project in Uganda. A project that will benefit over 10,000 Ugandans in a span of 3 years especially jua-kali, enterprise owners, women, young girls, and students through Digital Skilling.”

He added that “Digital transformation is one of the key drivers of effective human capital development, it, therefore, gives me pleasure to launch this Huawei Project.”

In line with the International Women’s Days theme of ‘DigitAll: Innovation for a gender equal future’ and Uganda’s national theme of ‘Equal Opportunities in Education, Science Technology for Innovation and a Gender Equal Future’, a priority beneficiary of the TECH4ALL initiative and the Uganda DigiTruck project is youth, Jua-Kali, and women.

“Digitization of Jua-Kali enterprises will create sustainable livelihood opportunities for the informal sector as it will enable small businesses to participate in regional and national trade. It will expand the customer landscape and allows businesses to provide clients with a greater range of services and products,” said Col. Rtd Okello Charles Engola, Minister of State for Labour, Employment, and Industrial Relations.

Engola added that “The training will also improve financial inclusion through improved ability to operate mobile money operations, expand employment opportunities, especially in rural areas, where some youth can start enterprises such as mobile money, and secretarial services among others.”

Running in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development and an international social enterprise Close the Gap, the Uganda DigiTruck project is aligned with the nation’s 2040 vision, National Development Plan, and Education Digital Agenda Strategy. The focus of these initiatives includes promoting digital foundation skills, digital communications and information, digital transactions, using the internet for problem-solving, online safety, civic responsibility, and data privacy, which will promote digitalization of the Informal Sector enterprises for productivity and job growth in Uganda.

Alongside women, other intended beneficiaries of the Uganda DigiTruck are youth, people with disabilities (PWDs), and those involved in ‘Jua Kali’ businesses — Uganda’s informal sector of micro and small enterprises.

“As an international social enterprise that exists to bridge the digital divide, Close the Gap believes that access to digital skills is key to empowering individuals economically and socially,” said Francisca Muema, DigiTruck Project Manager from Close the Gap.

“To reach underserved communities in remote areas where there is no power and connectivity, we designed the DigiTruck: a state-of-the-art mobile classroom that’s solar-powered and fully connected,” Muema added. “The DigiTruck program is coordinated with development and training partners globally to close the access and knowledge gap in digital literacy so that no one is left behind.”

DigiTrucks are mobile classrooms made from shipping containers and are mounted on trucks. They are fully solar-powered, and their mobility enables them to be driven to remote and underserved communities that lack training facilities and, in some cases, a power supply.

Connected by 4G, each DigiTruck can accommodate 20 learners in one session and comes equipped with the Huawei IdeaHub smart screen, 21 Huawei smartphones, and 21 Huawei laptops, all of which run on solar power installed on top of the truck.

Each 40-hour course in the programs trains students in digital literacy skills such as how to use devices, office software, and the internet, alongside soft skills such as writing a resume, applying for jobs online, and running an online business.

The Huawei DigiTruck Project is also part of Huawei’s broader approach to building ICT skills capabilities in Uganda with its partners.

“The Huawei DigiTruck project will enable people in the most rural areas of Uganda to obtain ICT skills which will boost their already existing enterprises and ideas to tap into e-commerce platforms like marketing etc,” Gao Fei, Managing Director for Huawei Uganda, told the press. “ICT is a key driver for economic empowerment and with this, we will be able to contribute towards narrowing the digital divide in Uganda.”

Fei said they want to ensure that they do not leave anyone behind as they promote the digital agenda.

The launch of this project in Uganda was held in Kirihura district and present at the ceremony were H.E Janet Museveni; the First Lady and Minister of Education & Sports, H.E Jessica Alupo; Vice President of Uganda, Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero; the Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation, Col. Rtd Okello Charles Engola; Minister of State for Labour, Employment & Industrial Relations, and Gaofei; Huawei MD.

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