NITA-U has handed over laptops to district local governments, city councils, municipal councils, and town councils to empower civil servants to electronically deliver government services. These laptops will with no doubt enable service delivery to the citizens especially during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The outgoing Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Judith Nabakooba, recently announced the boost in the government’s efforts towards the promotion and deepening of e-governance. On that day, we commenced the handover of 700 laptops to key entities and sectors so as to enable their adoption of e-services. This was funded under the Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (RCIP).
All these efforts are in line with the Digital Uganda Vision and the National Development Plan III that emphasizes the goal of improving Public Sector response to the needs of citizens and the private sector.
H.E the President Yoweri Museveni during his inauguration on 12 May 2021, highlighted ICT as the key driver for National social-economic transformation. To support this, NITA-U is in final stages of rolling out UGhub, an Application and Data Integration Platform through which data can be seamlessly shared across Government systems in a rational, secure, efficient and sustainable manner. UGhub shall enhance reporting, planning and decision making across Government and resultantly improve service delivery to citizens. To date, we have completed the integration of the 27 pilot entities and concluded User Acceptance Tests (UATs) in preparation for roll-out of UGhub.
Furthermore, NITA-U continues to expand the nationwide internet connectivity as a foundation for deepening of e-Governance. Under the Last Mile Connectivity Project, NITA-U is expanding the coverage of the NBI through laying of an additional 732km of fiber optic cable to connect and provision service to 700 sites including but not limited to Local Governments, hospitals, schools, universities, among others. This brings the number of sites connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure to over 1,500.
The National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) In addition handed over an E-Licensing System to the National Forestry Authority (NFA). The System which was designed by NITA-U provides an efficient, automated platform for registration, licensing, transfers, harvesting and enables NFA to disseminate information to Tree farmers. It enables online application for tree planting and allows farmers to access information about their application status, make online payments and access payment information among other features.
Speaking at the handover event, NITA-U Executive Director Dr. Hatwib Mugasa said, “We were pleased when NFA approached us to provide technical support in digitising the institution. We have so far connected NFA to the National Backbone Infrastructure(NBI), hosted their website on the Government Cloud and today we are glad to hand over this E-Licensing System.” “I’d like to thank the Management and Staff of NFA for trusting us as your partners in this digitization effort. You have set an example that all Government entities must emulate. Let me take this opportunity to encourage all Government institutions that have not yet fully embraced digitization to join the digital revolution. As NITA-U, we are ready to journey with you,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, NFA Executive Director Tom Okello Obong thanked NITA-U for a job well done. “When we started this project, our goal was to facilitate tree farmers in accessing services from NFA online and provide real time information about farmers for better management. I’m glad to announce that as we speak, we are migrating existing farmers into the system and updating existing farmers. Farmers will now be able to apply from anywhere and at any time.”
The E-licensing system on top of facilitating online applications and access to information will be able to manage back end approval processes, provide a dashboard for management and provide reports and enable payments. The next phase of implementation will see the system extend licensing to other areas such as research, eco-tourism and occupation, telecommunication masts, nursery management, and mining.
The system comes at a time when the government of Uganda through NITA-U has embarked on the process of integrating all government systems so that data can seamlessly be shared across the government in a rational, secure, efficient, and sustainable manner in order to improve service delivery to citizens through e-services.
NITA-U has to date developed 24 applications for the government. The E-Licensing system is an addition to the over 160 Applications from over 90 government entities that are currently hosted in the National Cloud Data centers.