Government spends over $3m on foreign software developers annually in its effort to execute its duties, the National Information Technology Authority of Uganda (NITA-U) Executive Director James Saka has said.
In an exclusive interview with Business Focus at the sidelines of ICT-Uganda Association first meeting with NITA- Uganda on Wednesday evening, Saka said that government is working on reducing this expenditure by inviting youths with different IT innovation skills.
“The [IT] ministry put aside about Sh16bn as innovation fund to help on minimizing and supporting our own,” he said .
Saka said that in the next 5 – 10 years, Uganda will reliably start to use local innovators all was paid could go outside the government and that is why the government introduced this fund.
The association which is about 4 years old comprises of a few hundreds of youths with different innovation skills.
The meeting dubbed LANReloaded attracted different views from the youth, with some asking the authority to scrap off registration and revise regulation issues as well.
“We want regulations with value attached to the industry, help us advance to where we want to go and we all need to participate in form of ideas,” said one developer TMS Ruge.
Other ICT innovators listed poor funding, death and low uptake of ICT innovations in Uganda as the major problems hindering the sector’s development.
Uganda is expected to have an innovation hub as a social community, work space or research centre that provides expertise on technology trends, knowledge and strategic innovation management. Hubs build skills and facilitate entrepreneurship partnerships.