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Uganda considers IT deal with Turkey to boost digital transformation

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The Ugandan government is in advanced talks to sign a partnership agreement with Turkey to accelerate the country’s digital transformation efforts.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, and National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde, on Thursday 18th April 2024 said that the planned partnership would enable them to leverage their expertise and networks to expand the information technology (IT) industry in the country.

“The Turkish government has greatly contributed to the construction sector of the nation, and it also provides several scholarships to students. When we engage them in the ICT industry, they will be able to support our digital transformation roadmap by providing skills directly to the country,” she said.

Dr. Zawedde said the planned Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would facilitate collaboration in various areas, including skills development through training programmes for Ugandan students in Turkey’s growing IT sector, knowledge transfer through partnership opportunities and exchange programmes for IT professionals, and potential Turkish involvement in expanding Uganda’s digital infrastructure.

In August 2023, President Museveni launched the Digital Transformation roadmap to run until 2028, which aims to connect essential facilities like health centers and district headquarters, empower individuals and communities to participate in the digital economy, and bridge the digital divide while creating job opportunities.

Dr. Zawedde noted that the government recognizes the importance of affordable internet access for successful digital transformation. Efforts include collaboration with private internet providers like MTN and Airtel to offer lower costs to the public, alongside the reduction of internet costs for government agencies by NITA-U (National Information Technology Authority – Uganda).

The government, through NITA-U last year, reduced the cost of the internet for its agencies from $70 to $35.

Besides Turkey, the Estonian government has also pledged to provide education experts to help transform the education sector through digital transformation, according to Dr. Zawedde.

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