Uganda, Japan sign deal to create jobs in ICT sector

Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to strengthen the ICT ecosystem and accelerate the creation of jobs for youth.

Dr Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance signed the deal on behalf of government while Uchiyama Takayuki signed on behalf of JICA.

The deal will herald access to one of the world’s most digitized nations, Japan, and its advanced technology knowledge, market and platforms.

It is expected to encompass the following:

  1. Framework on creating an enabling environment to support ICT acceleration
  2. Digital skilling program to strengthen Uganda’s global competitiveness
  3. Business match making between Ugandan companies and global ICT firms to create business opportunities for Ugandan companies
  4. Creation of an ICT entrepreneurship program

A year ago, Zawedde embarked on an initiative to revive the BPO and Innovation sectors in Uganda as one of the key areas that the government can exploit as a long-term solution to addressing issues of unemployment amongst educated youths.

Uganda has great strengths in attracting BPO jobs into the country, 30,000 youth leave the university each year, these are English speaking and ICT literate.

The ICT industry in the country has also grown in the last 10 years putting the country at an advantage in handling ICT jobs around the globe. It is therefore a very good time to recharge Uganda’s efforts in the BPO & Innovation industry.

At least 77% of Ugandans are under the age of 30 and its population is set to double between 2020 and 2060. There exists a challenge of youth unemployment is already high and will continue to rise as the population grows.

The signing is therefore timely as it allows Uganda’s BPO & Innovation practitioners opportunity to leverage the global expertise that Japan has honed over the years as a technology titan.

Zawedde said: “We are determined to create an environment that nourishes ICT-centric innovation and generates new job opportunities for our young people. The partnership with JICA is one we are excited about.”

“We have seen the quality of superior support that JICA extends when they commit, the testimony can be seen in the elegance of the Source of the Nile bridge in Jinja or the almost complete Flyover at Clocktower among others. That depth of technical knowledge & expertise is what we have gotten this morning. As the Japanese say, ‘Akarui mirai’, we have a ‘bright future’ in the sector,” she said.

Uchiyama Takayuki, Chief Representative JICA, said, “this partnership is the best way to promote Ugandan talent and also establish a platform to ease discovery of young talent by foreign and local companies.” The National Development Plan III under the Digital Transformation Program recognizes ICT as a fulcrum of development.

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