government has been asked to make science education free. At the Kampala
Innovation Week event, questions arose as to what should come first, between
focusing resources on education or the financial empowerment of the
disadvantaged groups in the rural and poorer communities, women and the youth.
German-based investment advisor, Dr. Christian Lindfeld says Ugandan innovators
should have it in mind that they are operating in a global industry, and play
by the rules of the game.
Ecosystem is already international. The proportion of female founders is
rising, but we still need to do more,” says Dr. Lindfeld, Advisor at Africa
of startups in Uganda are in the Central Region, according to a survey by
Startup Uganda, which shows how much the rest of the country is being left
survey notes an improving trend when it comes to the inclusion of women. About
30% of startups are female-owned, 27 % are co-owned by a female and male
something exciting and promising in the Ecosystem,” says the association.
University Business School Principal Wasswa Balunywa says the digital industry
is doing well in creating jobs, but he is worried that it is promoting
Balunywa says, for example, that almost 90 percent of the children in Uganda
have not studied for close to two years due to the Covid- 19 pandemic
especially in the rural and poor communities, while their counterparts in
richer communities have been in school through digital channels.
says this cuts across all levels of education, up to university, adding that
all needs to be done including using the faltering Radio Learning project to
prevent a crisis.
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He criticized the government for focusing resources on areas which he thinks
can be automatically developed if the focus is put on education.
says instead of funding wealth creation programs for youth, women, and other
groups, the government should put the resources to free education, especially
says will increase people’s spending power, create their awareness of better
living and demand for better products and services, and this in turn will lead
to private investments in production and value addition.
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Mubiru, from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development says the
government is aware of the need for education but insists that it will balance
the resources to include critical sectors, like agriculture modernization and
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On the cost
of accessing digital services by a majority of Ugandans, Mubiru says the Third
National Development Plan provided for enhanced use of ICT for all.
five-year plan put the focus on promoting the use of ICT in the entire economy
and society through the deployment of secure, integrated, and cross-sector
infrastructure Developing and promoting the usage of quality communication and services.
provides for digital inclusion and citizen participation, promoting innovation
and commercialization of ICT products and enhancing digital literacy, and developing
skills, among others.
the government is aware of the digital divide and hopes the programs will be
“Government is aware….
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Prof says the regulatory regime of s does not allow innovators to do things as
they should be.
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Ndabukiye a Co-Founder at WAZI, which makes eyewear for marginalized
communities with sight problems, also blamed the government for being too slow
in responding to the needs of innovators. She feels that the government
does not believe in the local innovators.
“I need to
be believed in by my country, all other governments believed in me, so why
can't my government do so? This is one of the problems we face as
entrepreneurs!” says Ndabukiye.
She cites financing challenges where the government is always reluctant.
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Innovation Week is facilitated by the UN Capital Development Fund in Kampala.
Lukolyo, UNCDF Digital Country Lead, says everyone involves in the digital
economy, including innovators, government agencies, and financiers, should work
towards improving the works environment for the sector to thrive.