The initiative will revolutionalise the flow of information in the country
Local government leaders have been called upon to embrace Information Communication and Technology innovations in their areas to ensure development.
The call was made on Tuesday James Saaka, the Executive Director National Information and Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) while addressing leaders from Ntungamo and Kabale districts in a one day ICT sensitisation workshop at Green Hills Hotel in Kabale.
"ICT helps leaders in planning, monitoring and implementing programmes within their areas of work very fast. It is therefore important for all leaders to support any interventions aimed at realising ICT development," said Saaka.
The workshop was aimed at sensitizing leaders from these districts about the on-going National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure Project (NBI/EGI) which the Government of Uganda is implementing through NITA-U.
According to Saaka, this project will see all major towns within the country connected onto an optical fibre cable based network and a connection among the ministries and government departments shall also be realised by the e-government network.
"This project also aims at reducing the costs of internet for the various beneficiaries. In most areas internet connection at these offices has been expensive but we hope to witness a solution to this if leaders embrace this project," added Saaka.
The project is currently in its third phase after the completion of the first and second phases.
Works in the current phase include the installation of an optical fibre cable to connect the Katuna and Mutukula border points and to complete the Kyenjonjo-Masindi OFC link.
"We therefore ask you to sensitise the people not to engage in acts of damaging our equipment and to always co-operate with our staff during the construction of these routes since this project aims at improving their livelihoods," said Saaka.
According to Vivian Dambya, the director technical services for NITA-U, the project has so far rolled out and commissioned EGI equipment for video conferencing in 27 government ministries and departments.
"In addition to that NITA-U has extended connectivity to 103 government ministries, departments and agencies. Public universities of Makerere, Busitema, Kyambogo, UMI, Gulu, Mbarara and MUBS have also been connected," said Dambya.
James Mugisha, the Kabale district principal secretary said it was a timely initiative with the revolutionalising flow of information in the country.
"This service is very important for Kabale since it is a cross border with Rwanda and DRC and for its tourism capacity, communication flow to our tourists will be made easier," said Mugisha.
The Kabale district Internal Security Officer, Robert Nabimanya vowed to arrest all those that shall engage in stealing or destroying equipment meant for this project.
"I am warning all the locals to desist from acts of hindering government programmes. We shall not have mercy on those who will be implicated in stealing cables and other equipment meant for this project," warned Nabimanya.
Loy Zikampereza the Kabale district secretary for health and social services said it is their mandate as local leaders is to sensitize the public against opposing government programmes.
"Some people may find it hard to adapt to such changes but as leaders we must teach them to embrace them for their own development," said Zikampereza.