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Monday,September 28,2020 09:07 AM

Uganda needs a national database

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th February 2009 03:00 AM

President Yoweri Museveni created the Information Communication Technology (ICT) ministry and appointed Dr. Ham Mulira as the minister, deputised by Alintuma Nsambu.

President Yoweri Museveni created the Information Communication Technology (ICT) ministry and appointed Dr. Ham Mulira as the minister, deputised by Alintuma Nsambu.

Martin Mbonye

President Yoweri Museveni created the Information Communication Technology (ICT) ministry and appointed Dr. Ham Mulira as the minister, deputised by Alintuma Nsambu.

It is commendable because ICT is one of the fast growing sectors in the Ugandan economy and the ministry is ensuring that Ugandans get maximum benefit from the sector.

Our neighbour, Rwanda, is one of a few developing countries that are a success example of how a country can benefit from the ICT.

One of the biggest benefits of ICT is databases and Rwanda has taken big strides towards developing and computerising its national database. In Uganda on the other hand, there is still a long way before its citizens can benefit from the ICT sector.

But what if Uganda just like Rwanda was to develop, computerise and operationalise a national database, how would it be of benefit? It means every Ugandan would be required to have a unique Identification Number (ID). It would be against this ID that all or most of the data for each individual would be recorded.

Registration of vital statistics (deaths and births) would be captured against this ID. The country could, therefore, not need a national census and save billions of tax payers’ money which can be used in other productive sectors like transport and energy.

While seeking healthcare services, medical records for each individual would be recorded against this ID. The country‘s different sectors such as health, finance, gender and education would easily link its records.

Processing of national IDs, drivers’ licenses, social security, Passports, voter’s cards would ease up. People’s earnings would easily be tracked and the tax base established. Banks would open and monitor peoples’ bank accounts and credit, thus guarding against fraudsters and money launderers. It would also be easy for the Police to track the criminal records of the citizens.

Time wasted processing various national documents would be reduced and used productively elsewhere.

The country would generally be able to plan better using accurate records in this database.

The writer is a statistician and a Population and Reproductive Health Specialist

Uganda needs a national database

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