The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, has appealed to universities to take lead in integrating ICT and sciences.
Baryomunsi noted the world is now focusing on ICT and Sciences to solve global challenges which call for universities and other institutions of higher learning in leading in this research and revolution.
“We saw in Covid-19, people relied on remote working and science. This put ICT on the forefront. Some universities that had already embraced technology were never disrupted, they had already invested in IT development, a sector we should all embrace,” Baryomunsi said.
The minister noted that the government is now looking at a collaboration with universities both public and private on how they could tap into the IT and Science sector.
“We want to explore areas of collaborations. Can we have virtual universities and lectures with international universities?” he wondered.
Baryomunsi also said the government’s plan to complete the extension of internet connectivity to the entire country is on course.
He said that the current internet connectivity is at 60% with more efforts by government to extend the fiber and reach every corner of the country.
“We have already implemented the four phases and are now on phase five and are sure that in one and a half years, the entire country will be connected,” he said
He made the remarks while officiating at the 24th graduation ceremony of Ndejje University on Friday this week.
Baryomunsi said with internet connectivity, jobs will be created through business process outsourcing (BPO), among others.
He said people will be in Uganda but offering services to companies in Europe, Asia, among others.
“We will get jobs in the domestic market but also in the international market. However, this will require connectivity and the cost of internet to be low, and as government, we are handling it.”
A total of 1,937 graduands received Certificates, Diplomas, Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees.
Of these, 763 (39.4%) were females, 1174 (60.4%) of the graduates are males, and 391 were from the engineering department, the highest number ever.
The University also celebrated 30 years of existence at the same event.
Baryomunsi told students that currently, the job market is competitive with very few coming from the government.
He advised them to seek for additional skills if they are to compete for the few available jobs.
“Government has fewer jobs that cannot take all of you but you can use the skills attained to create your own jobs. We may not take all of you but government has put across some seed funds which you can come and access and develop yourselves,” he said.
He also congratulated the students who were able to complete their studies and urged them to be intelligent and not only focus on what they have studied but also to be involved in other activities.
The vice chancellor of Ndejje University, Prof Eliabu Lugujjo, urged the graduates to live their lives in a transparent manner, accept advice, as well as avoid making money quickly through the wrong channels.
He also asked them to always make the best out of every situation, keep themselves constructively occupied, set own standards judiciously, be confident and leave a model style of life with God as the nucleus.