The Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) has asked government for at least Shs 13bn to enable it develop infrastructure as the institute repositions itself to become a regional centre of excellence.
UICT’s acting principal Irene Nakiyimba said the institution had developed a 10-year master plan to become the first ICT centre of excellence (CoE).
“Ugandans have not fully embraced ICT, and this is because we lack professional skills, our first target will be government cadres since most of them don’t have ICT-related skills, government is spending a lot on ICT-related expatriates” she said.
Nakiyimba’s request came during the institute's 11th graduation held last week. She explained that as Uganda goes into the ICT economy, it is vital that we have an institute that will lead in spearheading the implementation of an ICT-led economy.
“This [CoE] will build skills and professional capacity of ready-to-work labour force to support the analysis, design, development, installation management and maintenance of ICT infrastructure and systems,” she said.
At this event, 538 students received diplomas and certificates. Nakiyimba advised the graduates to take control of their lives if they are to make it in life and be responsible in their actions.
“Always remember that there is only one person, you; you must learn to take 100 per cent responsibility for everything that you experience in life,” she said.
Nyombi Tembo, representing the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), said government had recognized the importance of the institution and required robust digital literacy and technical competencies among its graduates and pledged support.
“Things like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, cyber security and machine learning will require specialized skills that our educational institutions like UICT must be ready to impart,” Tembo said.
The ICT ministry’s permanent secretary, Vincent Bagiire, said he did not expect to hear of graduates lacking employment.
“Be flexible, you may not get a job on what you studied but be happy with what you start with; whether working in a shop or working upcountry, be humble and ensure people around you enjoy your presence,” he said.