By Mark Kawalya
The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance launched a new campaign dubbed “Discover Africa’s Innovation Powerhouse” along with a number of partners, including Huawei, Vision Group, UBC, Airtel Uganda and MTN. The campaign that is aimed at positioning Uganda as a Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) and an innovation and investment destination saw five innovators unveiled and flagged off who will represent Uganda at the Dubai 2020 Expo.
These are Hareesh Sahadevan (Emvigo Technologies), Mohammed Muwonge (Badaye Technologies), Francis Nkurunungi (Xente App), Lydia Nakayenze (Oncaplanta) and Martin Mukama (Prisms). The five were selected and vetted by the BPO and Innovation Council after a rigorous exercise from among the eleven shortlisted innovators that made submissions to the Ministry of ICT’s call for applications in January.
“By sending Ugandan innovators to the Dubai Expo, we believe that they can experience breakthrough technologies and learn about disruptive innovations that we are confident, they will bring back home,” PS, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde intimated during her remarks at the launch.”
She also added that the Dubai 2020 Expo will give Uganda an opportunity to experience global innovations as well as a much-needed platform to showcase Uganda’s BPO and the budding innovation ecosystem at a glance.
The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, encouraged the five innovators to represent the country with a spirit of excellence because they are Uganda’s ambassadors.
He also noted that “Through this deliberate effort of BPO and innovation promotion, the Ministry is working towards enabling market-oriented innovation, connecting the best of businesses, talent, and ideas, from around the world.”
The BPO and Innovations Council was introduced by the Ministry of ICT as a pathway to creating jobs for youth through ICT outsourcing and innovation, with the council hoping to create 20,000 jobs in 18 months.
“The Government of Uganda has embarked on an incentive to develop the BPO and innovation sectors that will be considered as key areas that the government can exploit as a long-term solution to address the issue of unemployment amongst the educated youth,” Baryomunsi remarked.
At the Dubai Expo, team Uganda will be part of the Opportunity Pavilion which will reflect the need for financial capital as a resource that supports growth and partnerships as a primary driver of innovation and employment. The event will also be a good opportunity for them to interact with investors that are interested in supporting innovation as a driver of employment.