By Mark Kawalya
Centenary Technology Services (Cente-Tech) a subsidiary of the Centenary Group, has over the last few weeks onboarded churches from the West Nile region onto the firm’s digital messaging service.
Cente-Tech’s digital messaging service comprises SMS, USSD and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) functionalities for its users. The move that is focused on the West Nile area will enable the dioceses in Nebbi and Arua to leverage digital messaging in communications with their congregation using SMS, IVR email and USSD protocols.
“The service is a much-needed intervention that will go a long way in enhancing how we support the transformation of our people. We thank Cente-Tech for this,” Bishop Raphael Wokorach of the Nebbi Diocese said.
The initiative to introduce the digital service in West Nile started in August 2022 after a visit by Centenary Group’s Executive Chairman & CEO Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu, Steven Kirenga; Cente-Tech Head and Cente-Tech CTO; Peter Kahiigi, to the Diocese of Lira to engage its members and church fraternity.
During the meeting with Cente-Tech, Bishop Sanctus Wannok welcomed the news of the plans to develop the digital messaging service, stating that it would be easily deployable since the majority of people in the area had phones. This would make the service an effective communication method for the dioceses in the area.
However, the vision has now been extended to cover the whole of Uganda following the teams’ visit to Fort Portal Diocese. They were welcomed by Bishop Robert Muhirwa, who applauded Cente-Tech for its work and called on them to roll out a similar service to the whole country.
“We have many economic activities that we carry out in Fort Portal. Now that we know your ICT expertise, come and partner with us to transform the lives of our communities,” Bishop Muhirwa said.
According to Cente-Tech’s CEO, Dr Grace Ssekakubo, the intention of the initiative was to transform the lives of the people and encourage environmental conservation. Financial inclusion is the main driver for this, while innovative business solutions are a catalyst for digital transformation and these would be implemented in other regions in Uganda.