President Museveni challenges Ugandans not to use technology for imports

Communication is a good avenue for development that Ugandans must harness to the utmost to build economies that are independent, integrated, and self-sustaining.

By John Baptist Ahumuza

Kampala: While officiating at the launch of the 2nd National ICT Job Fair 2023 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, the President of Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, challenged Ugandans not to use communication technologies in promoting importation but export Uganda’s products.

According to Museveni, communication is a good avenue for development that Ugandans must harness to the utmost to build economies that are independent, integrated, and self-sustaining.

“If you integrate your ICT with imports, then you are a liability and not an asset to the country. What are you talking about? Are you talking about importing human hair? If that is what you are talking about, then you are a liability,” said Museveni.

The president also urged the prioritization of universal human needs such as food, shelter, clothing security, and infrastructure, among others, and then the rest, such as ICT.

‘’The digital world we are doing, is it supporting the independence of Uganda or dependence of Uganda in acquiring these human needs? In Uganda, we are a bit stable because we are stable in the area of food and shelter items like cement, steel, bars, and so on,” added Museveni.

The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, expressed concern over the growing youth unemployment, saying it is the responsibility of the government to provide the young people with opportunities that will not only empower them but also contribute to the growth of the nation.

“Uganda’s demographic dividend lies in its youthful population, with over 70% of our citizens falling within the youth category. However, we acknowledge the challenges that our youth face, particularly when it comes to unemployment. The youth unemployment rate, though at 10.3%, is still a matter of concern that we have to address collectively,” said Baryomunsi.

He further explained how the National ICT Job Fair fosters dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders in the ICT sector.

“As we embark on this year’s National ICT Job Fair, I encourage all stakeholders to actively participate and support our youth. This event is not just a job fair; it is a platform for the realization of dreams and aspirations,” added Baryomunsi.

On the other hand, the state minister for ICT and National Guidance, Hon.Joyce Ssebugwawo, disclosed that the National ICT Job Fair serves as a bridge, connecting talented youth with the many opportunities the sector offers.

At the same event, the Permanent Secretary of the ICT Ministry, Amina Zawedde, explained the new podcast initiated by the ministry titled “The Ugandan Podcast,” which will enable them to communicate government programs at length and in detail.

“I encourage us all to listen to it from time to time and be part of the 360 Uganda experience. The Ugandan Podcast has been nominated for different awards and was the No. 1 Government Podcast on Apple Podcasts last year,” explained Amina.

The minister of state for Higher Education John chrisistom Muyingo condemned headteachers who stopped senior four candidates from sitting their examinations due to school fees issues.
“If it happened, it’s very unfortunate that some of our students were locked out of schools because we had agreed with all stakeholders in the education sector to enable all our children to go to school and complete the cycle including sitting national examinations” said Muyingo.
He called on school heads to assist all learners who registered to do their examinations whether they have paid school fees or not saying they have a way of helping schools when the results come back.

This year’s National ICT Job Fair, which was organized under the theme Navigating the Digital  Horizon,”Over 10,163 opportunities have so far been registered, including 1,625 jobs, 274 internships, 554 apprenticeships, and 7,709 training and scholarship opportunities.

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