In a letter dated 5th September 2015, the President of Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to put aside Ugx 15 billion a year to be used by the Ministry of ICT to boost young ICT innovators in the country. The letter reads as follows:
FUNDING YOUNG ICT INNOVATORS
The Ministry of ICT has mobilized a number of young ICT graduates and professionals involved in the innovation of IT and other digital solutions. Apparently they have organised themselves into a forum. This is commendable and government should support them. They want to be supported with funds for incubating and developing their products just the same way we have supported other scientists. Fortunately, the investment required for this ICT category is not that heavy since they do not require a lot of hardware materials. It is mainly software, incubator hubs to work from and affordable or free internet.
The Ministry of ICT in a cost effective effort approach should work with UPDF Engineering Brigade to put up these simple buildings at the available pieces of land (in Nakawa and Entebbe) and equip them with Internet and computers. The innovators can then be allocated space for their work. I am also informed that when innovation centres are made functional, it will be easier for bigger Multi-national companies to be attracted and book space for their factory trials and assembling.
This is, therefore, to direct that, without distorting the set budget priorities, to rationalize from the already existing funds for youth livelihood and science innovation fund and get out a portion of money of at least 15bn per year to support this other category of youth involved in ICT innovations and also the development of the ICT parks.
Yoweri K Museveni
People in the sector, what are your thoughts on this? Are you excited? We know we are! Are you pensive? Any misgivings? Do you think this is the right way to about this? Suggestions for how this fund can be administered properly so it isn’t misused? We want to know your thoughts so drop a comment below…