Uganda positions national backbone project to deliver digital
Uganda is now saving 4 trillion shillings annually in costs because of its national backbone infrastructure says Dr Hatwib Mugasa, Executive Director of the National Information Technology Authority - Uganda (NITA-U).
Speaking at the Huawei ICT Congress 2022 hosted recently in Kampala, Dr Mugasa said because of the national backbone infrastructure project, government services have managed to go online and more than 1,400 ministries, agencies and local government (MDA) offices can now utilise electronic services such as integrated management systems, e-tax, and e-passports.
This saves both time and money, he added.
Dr Mugasa said, “NITA-U has been working with Huawei for more than ten years since the National Backbone Infrastructure/e-government project was started. We have rolled out over 4172km of backbone fibre cable in over 62 Districts of Uganda. We are also rolling out last mile fiber cable to extend connectivity to the grass root user all the way to the Parish. In a few weeks from now we shall have completed 764km under the Last Mile Phase and citizens shall be able to access e-government services at 1,400 administrative locations. By digitalising government processes and hosting them at the National Data Centre, NITA-U has managed to save the Government of Uganda more than 4 Trillion Shillings annually in direct public expenditure. This cost that would have be spent on paper, manual processes and datacentres service fees for each MDA.”
Amy Xia, Huawei’s Vice President Enterprise Business group emphasised the need for digitalisation. “As digital transformation has become an industry consensus, the focus has been shifted from “whether or not to go digital”, to “how to go digital!”. Huawei has invested heavily in research and development for Uganda so that we can achieve the creation of new value together. We have carefully considered today to exhibit the various technologies you see here so that we can together walk the digital journey of Uganda.”
The Huawei ICT Congress 2022 with the theme “Lighting up the Future” organised by Huawei Uganda is aimed at helping businesses and ICT with digitisation.
At the opening of the event, Uganda’s ICT Minister Chris Baryomunsi said the government wants to expedite its digital strategy and leverage technology that underpins smart homes, smart offices, cloud solutions, safe and smart cities, among others.
According to the Minister, ICT is now Uganda’s fastest growing sector and is also a major driver to Uganda’s middle-income status as per the 2040 Digital Vision strategy.
He said the government is fast-tracking digital to harness new emerging technologies such as those exhibited at Huawei congress. “We need to look to the future of digital and start implementing the necessary digital infrastructure so that we are not left behind.”