UCC becomes first entity to go paperless

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UCC Publicist Pamela Ankunda and head of legal services, Abudu Salamu Waiswa addressing journalists

Uganda Communications Commission [UCC] will go “paperless” starting July 11, 2017.

Pamela Ankunda, the head public and international relations at UCC, says all routing document for internal or external communication will now be done through the new system.

“This will increase efficiency, and, contribute to the ongoing fights against Environmental degradation,” she said.

She added: “I think UCC is the first entity in Uganda to go paperless”.

On Friday, Frank K. Tumwebaze, MP and minister of ICT and National Guidance, announced that government was moving towards e-government to provide most of its services online.

Victoria University

““In future, we shall get wider apart offline, yet more connected online. We are also moving towards a cashless society,” Tumwebaze said while speaking at the 4th Leo Africa Economic Forum organised by LéO Africa Institute and held at Serena Conference Centre in Kampala.

He added: “We are talking of having all government services accessed online. We call this e-government. No one expected Mobile Money, WhatsApp to be part of our daily lives.”

He said disruptive technologies and their impact to growth and development, calling for the simplification of ICT terms coached from tech labs and environments so as to be understood by everybody.

He said if governments are fully to commit to and support ICTs and the associated innovations, the leaders must be made aware of the associated benefits to GDP growth, employment creation and the societal transformation potential ICTs hold.

He said ICT challenges like Cyber insecurity which is currently threatening government systems is a blessing in disguise because it presents challenges and opportunities at the same time for innovators to solve a problem by building resilient and digital tight solutions that will defeat hackers and all other cybercrimes.

Some of the innovations that government has already experienced include; the printing press which overtook the medieval control of knowledge by scribes in monasteries, mini steel mills that disrupted integrated steel mills, desktop computers and now laptops and Palmtops that disrupted the mainframe computing machines which were enormous and occupied large spaces, cellular/mobile phones which disrupted fixed line telephony and smartphones and tablets which are currently giving headache to desktop computers and laptop manufacturers.

According to Tumwebaze, these innovations have and continue to expand markets by eliminating access barriers, create new jobs to cope with growing demand for new products.

He said the emergence of over the top services (OTT) like skype, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook etc. have not only eliminated barriers posed by traditional means of communication but also enhanced the idea of a global village through social networking.

Mobile financial services (mobile money, Airtel money, Mpesa etc) have not only led to ease of transacting business but also created opportunities for many.

Many traditional banking institutions are now integrating these services into their systems to cope with the demands and pace of society.

“Surely, no one expected Facebook, WhatsApp, mobile money, the internet etc., to be part of our everyday lives that we now feel incomplete without.”

He continued: “Now we are talking of having all government services accessed online (e-government). In time, there will be less and less human interaction yet we remain closer through virtual spaces.”

He said in the field of transport, Uber and safeboda are new innovations that have meant cheaper, convenient and safer travel and block chain technologies are already being adopted as “Uganda moves towards a cashless society”.

“Even outside the ICT sector, we have seen rolex chapatti a Ugandan innovation become part of everyday fast food menu and has spread beyond Ugandan borders.”

Currently, ICT Innovation in Uganda is primarily in smart apps done by youths partly because this area has the lowest capital barrier. Though it is done by enthusiastic youths out of personal initiative, government is systematically stepping in to organise, coordinate and support initiatives through the Innovation fund.

“Our focus is on direct support to innovators as well as linking up innovations with process managers and private capital to turn ideas into marketable products. The potential in innovation is immense.”

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