October 4—Former Kenyan Vice President, Dr. Kalonzo Musyoka, has asked East African Community (EAC) member governments to invest more resources into the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) if the region is to overcome both social and economic challenges.
“Because of the inefficient ICT sector in the region, this has affected many tertiary institutions capacity to adopt e-learning. Many universities are spending resources towards the construction of lecture rooms and other infrastructure such as libraries, but if the region had a vibrant ICT sector, such institutions could just go digital teaching, “Kalonzo said during the Third Graduation ceremony for the Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU).
Kalonzo said the development of ICT in the region can support reductions in the cost of social services such as education, health and also support regional trade among the six EAC member states.
Kalonzo, who is the University Chancellor, said limited investment in the ICT sector in the EAC is responsible for the high cost of internet services in the region. He said this has a negative impact on the economic transformation of the region since ICT has the capacity to improve efficiency in social services delivery.
He also asked regional governments to support the development of vocational institutions. “As the region focuses on improving the human resources through establishing of universities, there’s a need also to advocate for vocational institutions. Not all youth can afford to pay for universities and not all courses being taught there have a big impact on economic transformation in the EAC societies, but with vocational training chances are high to produce entrepreneurs,” he said.
Turning to graduands, the chancellor challenged them to generate solutions for poverty reduction, unemployment, environmental challenges such as climate change, hunger and other social challenges if their skills are to be of any relevance to the communities.
Over 200 students were awarded with degrees and diplomas in various fields of business studies and ICT related courses such as computer engineering.
UTAMU University Vice Chancellor Prof Benon Bashaka applauded the University for producing quality ICT students. He told the gathering that the majority of their students have developed software which is being used by both the private sector and government entities.