Graduates at UICT 15th Graduation advised to apply skills in order to transform Uganda Digitally

Meanwhile, the guest of Honor, Hon. Kabbyanga B. K. Godfrey, Minister of State for National Guidance also holding portfolio of Minister of ICT and National Guidance, says Uganda is a country of many firsts. One of these was when, in 1990, after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela chose Uganda as one of the first countries to visit.

Nov 25, 2022 - 14:46
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Graduates at UICT 15th Graduation advised to apply skills in order to transform Uganda Digitally

KAMPALA - A graduation ceremony is an important event in the Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology calender and it opens the door for graduates to the numerous opportunities that they should take advantage of according to Dr. Fredrick Edward Kitoogo the Principal UICT.

A total of 378 students for Diploma and Certificate programs have graduated today at the 15th Graduation Ceremony of Uganda institute of Information and Communications Technology, Nakawa. They are in the departments of ICT and Engineering and management distributed as follows; Male 268(70.8%) and Female 110(29.1%). Also, others attained professional certifications in Internet of Things (84), Certified Network Associates (25), Get-connected (62), Introduction to cyber security (30), Programming in Python (8) to strengthen them further for the industry. Of these, a total of 24 students scored with distinctions

The Principal, Dr. Kitoogo highlighted the following key challenges facing UICT that need to be addressed in order for UICT to grow and develop accordingly.

a)    Although UICT embarked on Open Distance and e-Learning, some of the students are not able to access the learning due to various reasons such as lack of devices, internet connectivity and data .

Appeal: Guest of Honor, we pray that your Ministry and that of Education and Sports and UCC develop and implement a strategy for a laptop scheme and provision of free or subsidized data for students and lecturers nationally.

b)    There is a challenge of access to laboratory practice, practicum, internship, industrial training and ICT projects & examinations.

Appeal: Guest of Honor, we pray that your Ministry and that of Education and Sports and UCC develop and implement a strategy for Virtual Laboratories, Virtual Internship Schemes and Infrastructure for Virtual Examinations for all Higher Institutions of Learning

c)    Inadequate funding to support the implementation of the UICT Masterplan, 5-year strategic plan and implementation of the HR Study towards transforming the Institute into a Regional Centre of ICT Excellence.

Appeal:

  • Your Ministry and UCC Lobby Government to provide funding for the implementation of the UICT Masterplan, 5-year strategic plan, and implementation of the HR Study
  • Engagement of development partners to support the realization of the strategic objectives.

“Finally, let me turn to you our dear graduands. I congratulate all of you and your parents, guardians and sponsors upon this honorable achievement. The time and resources you have invested have paid off and that is the cause for our celebration today. Allow me to specifically thank our dear parents, guardians and sponsors who have selflessly financed your studies to this level. They have sacrificed a lot to give you a good future and deserve to be appreciated. Please join me in expressing our gratitude for their enormous sacrifices,” Dr. Kitoogo told the graduates.

“Graduands of today, am gratified that we have empowered you to be doers, you have been commissioned to be graduates with a difference, please endeavor to contribute to the knowledge economy, we shall remember you as alumni of UICT and your success in your respective careers shall make us proud.  You are going out to the world, which expects a lot from you. You will face challenges, but be faithful to your cause. We have trained you to be critical thinkers, ready to face the job market, but also resilient entrepreneurs. Go out and create the jobs the Country is yearning for. Love and respect your parents, and elders, and fear God so that doors will be opened for you.

Meanwhile, the guest of Honor, Hon. Kabbyanga B. K. Godfrey, Minister of State for National Guidance also holding portfolio of Minister of ICT and National Guidance, says Uganda is a country of many firsts. One of these was when, in 1990, after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela chose Uganda as one of the first countries to visit.

On this visit because even at that time, the National Resistance Movement government had chosen to sponsor the education of many African National Congress (ANC) revolutionaries here.
On his visit, Mr. Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Therefore, the minister was happy to celebrate the 15th Graduation ceremony of Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT) which was blended both virtually and physically.

He said that the graduation ceremony is especially important because it comes at a time when our world faces constant alterations in the way we do things we do. These alterations are a result of the Internet and the Digital Technologies that go with it.
“Therefore, in my view, the graduates before me have chosen the right fields of study. I am thankful that this beautiful campus of UICT is continuing to design modern relevant ICT courses for our children and grandchildren. I am also thankful to the parents and guardians, who through great financial and emotional sacrifice have supported and enabled you become graduates of the great institution of UICT,” Hon. Kabbyanga said.

“As a State Minister in charge of ICT, I know that many young people such as yourselves are filled with ideas that you believe can help to continue the socio-economic transformation of our country through deployment of intelligent digital solutions. I know this because every day I see the wonders of your solutions at many innovation hubs in Kampala and beyond.  I encourage you to continue exercising imagination of your minds by putting to good use the skills that your lecturers have taught and instilled in you,” he advised.
“By doing this, you become the key drivers of our 2040 Uganda Vision that among others, seeks to realize the full digitalization of government services to citizens. To realize Vision 2040 also requires us to embrace Research and Development,” he noted.
“And so, I ask that you continue to apply yourselves by attaining greater academic ranks than those that you have. As a government, we are committed to enabling this by setting up accreditation and testing centers for ICT professionals, providing internationally accepted certifications etc.”

“Already, the ministry is supporting innovators and has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Estonian Centre for International Development, this MOU has the objective of supporting young innovators like you to help us in the field of governance.”
He was happy with the theme for this graduation; “ICT as TVET to support digital and social-economic Transformation,” because it aligns with the government’s strategic mission to make ICTs alongside Agriculture, Industry and Trade through enabling regional and continental integration the cornerstone on which the full realization of building an Independent, modern, Integrated and self-sustaining economy is built.

He reechoed to the students that Education has not ended today but has only begun. “If you want to be like me and stay young, do not get tired of learning,” he advised the graduates.
Meanwhile, Moses W. Watasa Commissioner, Communication and Information Dissemination, Ministry of Information Communications Technology and National Guidance who represented the Permanent secretary Ministry of ICT, said that he was proud that the ministry has come a long way in terms of infrastructure, and a variety of programs which are very useful and practical. “We need a lot of ICT skilling now to improve the country in terms of ecommerce, e government services, automation of systems, and now looking at the 4th industrial revolution.”
Mr. Watasa advised Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology to stay on course with practical courses that the market requires, not only thinking about delivering theoretical programs. He is happy that the institute is innovating and continuing to work with the ministry of ICT.

Mr. Watasa says the Ministry will continue supporting them in getting more tools, and improve on the infrastructure because the numbers of students are increasing. “There is need to build more classroom blocks, equip them with more computers and ICT equipment, software systems so that the institute is continuously built, and delivers programs that are of international standards in the near future,” he revealed.

He Congratulated the students for a big achievement though it is not the end, and advised them to continue working because ICT is a versatile area with a lot of emerging trends and skills are needed here in Uganda, regionally and globally. “The young graduates should continue learning in order to stay relevant but should also stay disciplined. You might have the skills but if your attitude and character is not properly aligned, you may not fulfill your potential,’’ he advised the graduates.
“Stay disciplined, humble, continue learning, and adding value to yourself, and above all have faith in God and pray for guidance and spiritual orientation because now there are a lot of distractions for young people especially some things which are foreign culture, some good while others bad,” said Mr. Moses Watasa.

He added that the Ministry of ICT has innovation programs where young people are supported, through the National ICT Initiatives Support Programme (NIISP) to facilitate the creation of an ICT Innovation ecosystem and marketplace for Ugandan innovative digital products.
NIISP primarily aims at facilitating growth and development of the software applications and innovations industry and through the above, young people especially graduates are supported.

It should be noted that the UICT building is part of the above project which has eased students learning through skilling, attachments with international software organizations, and can be trained to access cheap and high-speed internet.
Also, those who want to go for practical skilling and creating jobs, the ministry of ICT supports them by bringing their ideas on board to be turned into systems and are marketed.

Mr. Watasa says the Ministry is looking at a continuous relationship with young people especially those who want to further skills by developing systems, software, but also government is promoting manufacturing ICT equipment like phones, tablets, computers.
“If you have what it takes, the ministry of ICT can work with you and support you, through partnerships with Ministry of Education and sports, Uganda Investment Authority, to build local capacities, so that Uganda is as self-reliant as possible in terms of skilling, developing systems, developing ICT tools and gadgets so that we cut on our bill of importing ICTs which is currently in millions of dollars,” Mr. Watasa noted.

John Kusolo John Kusolo, a Ugandan Journalist, Sport fanatic, Tourist, Pastor, and Motivational Speaker. I am passionate about my work. Because I love what I do, I have a steady source of motivation that drives me to do my best. I am ambitious and driven. I thrive on challenge and constantly set goals for myself, so I have something to strive toward. Socials: John Kusolo on facebook and Twitter.