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Ministry of ICT Opens a New ICT Innovation Hub in Soroti

The government is establishing ICT Innovation Hubs to boost the country's digital and economic transformation.

Story Highlights
  • The government establishing three regional ICT innovation hubs in universities geared towards fortifying the country’s digital transformation agenda.
  • The Ministry of ICT received funds amounting to UGX750 million for the establishment of the regional ICT innovation hubs in the universities of Soroti, Kabale, and Arua.
  • The Soroti University ICT Innovation Hub will promote access to and availability of affordable ICT solutions for the local communities and the public and export these ideas to foreign mission.
  • The government designed NIISP to facilitate the creation of an ICT innovation ecosystem and marketplace for Ugandan innovative digital products.
  • NIISP tackles bottlenecks to creating a digital ecosystem by promoting the development and deployment of applications to create an open ecosystem in Uganda.

The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance’s National Innovation Initiative Support Program (NIISP) on March 20th launched the Soroti University ICT Innovation Hub to equip the youth with innovation space, digital skills, and connectivity.

The hub is one of the three regional ICT innovation hubs in universities that the Ministry had plans to establish, a move geared towards fortifying the country’s digital transformation agenda.

“What a joy seeing that the Soroti ICT Innovation Hub is ready,” said Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance who expressed her gratitude for attaining this milestone.

“In the financial year 2021/22, the Ministry was provided with funds amounting to UGX750 million for the establishment of the regional ICT innovation hubs in the universities of Soroti, Kabale, and Muni [in Arua]; each receiving UGX250 million,” said Zawedde. “This would not only increase the uptake of ICTs in higher institutions of learning but also increase the uptake of ICT among the business community and other professional service providers, let alone increase job creation for the local community,” she added.

Zawedde emphasized that the hub will create solutions as per the digital transformation roadmap that addresses a lack of opportunities and challenges currently facing the youth, the majority yet the most vulnerable group in Uganda.

Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, Minister of ICT and National Guidance speaking at the launch of the Soroti University ICT Innovation Hub in Soroti District. COURTESY PHOTO / Ministry of ICT
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, Minister of ICT and National Guidance speaking at the launch of the Soroti University ICT Innovation Hub in Soroti District. COURTESY PHOTO / Ministry of ICT

During the launch event held at Soroti University in Soroti District, Hon. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, Minister of ICT and National Guidance, said that the Soroti University ICT Innovation Hub provides the government with a unique opportunity to address a critical gap in linking digital skills training with job creation.

“The innovation hub is not all about generating ideas but ensuring that these ideas have been turned into realities that have the power to make a difference in society,’ said Baryomunsi. “This hub will serve as a launchpad for innovation-driven entrepreneurship.”

Prof. John Robert Ikoja, the Vice Chancellor of Soroti University, thanked the government for the state-of-the-art ICT Innovation facility and equipment.

“This is going to help the young people in Soroti, both within and outside of the university to develop community solutions to community problems,” said Ikoja.

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