ICT Ministry considers mandatory ICT certification for civil servants

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The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance is exploring the possibility of compelling all civil servants to acquire a certificate in ICT and computer usage. Amina Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, says that this initiative aims to promote the widespread adoption of ICT solutions within government departments.

To achieve this objective, civil servants would be required to obtain the International Computer Driving License, a globally recognized certificate that assesses proficiency in computer usage. The certification is structured into three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

During a press conference focusing on the nation’s digital transformation roadmap, Zawedde emphasized that her ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to provide training for teachers and trainees in educational institutions. Furthermore, partnerships with the Ministry of Public Service are being established to facilitate training for existing civil servants.

Despite prior endeavors to integrate ICT solutions into government operations, the effective utilization of these solutions remains limited. Zawedde attributed this challenge to the prevalent levels of computer illiteracy among civil servants, which obstruct the nation’s aspiration for comprehensive digital transformation.

Additionally, the Permanent Secretary disclosed that the Ministry of ICT is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and internet service providers to make digital devices more accessible through subsidies and to reduce internet rates.

Recognizing that digitalization hinges on appropriate tools, Zawedde revealed, “Currently, many Ugandans use feature phones that lack internet access. Therefore, we are in discussions with the Ministry of Finance to introduce affordable smartphones to the market. We are also working with service providers to reduce internet costs.” Uganda’s current progress toward digitalization stands at 14.8 percent of the necessary components required to achieve its full digitalization goal by 2030.

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the ministry has crafted a comprehensive five-year digital transformation plan. According to Zawedde, this plan encompasses multiple facets, including digital skill development and financial aspects, with the objective of establishing a centralized fund for foreign aid targeted at the nation’s digital advancement.

These significant strides toward digital empowerment underscore Uganda’s positioning for technological advancement. The reverberations of this transformation are anticipated to extend through the echelons of the civil service, ultimately benefiting the nation as a whole. As the nation awaits its implementation, the unveiling of the country’s five-year digital roadmap is scheduled for August 17, 2023.

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