The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is mandated to collaborate with educational institutions to promote specialised education in the field of communications and to operate and manage the Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT).
UICT is a public ICT focused training institution, managed and operated by UCC and as such funds were allocated during the financial year 2017/18 for the Setup, rehabilitation and upgrade of teaching laboratories and associated ICT infrastructure.
In line with its mandate, the Commission has embarked on revamping the institute into a regional centre of excellence in ICT innovation and education in the post-digital convergence era. The Commission is committed to granting operational support and the maintenance of Estates to improve UICT’s image and visibility which is reflected in today’s commissioning of five specialised laboratories in Telecommunication, multimedia, Pearson VUE, Electronics and electrical engineering.
In 2017 the Commission embarked on a general rehabilitation, renovation and refurbishment of the classroom block in which the ICT laboratories are housed and has since been completed fitted with an ICT systems control centre (server room), new washroom and a new rooftop at the cost of UGX. 890M in line with the ten year Master Plan and five years Strategic Plan aimed at transforming the Institute into a regional Centre of Excellence.
To position UICT as a centre of excellence, the Commission is committed to supporting the establishment of an enabling environment that will provide conducive and state of the art physical infrastructure for training, learning and research. The Commission is cognisant that for successful transformation to happen, UICT will require adequate Human Resource, startup capital, ICT infrastructure and an enabling legal framework of which the Commission is cognisant of the same.
UICT is the only Government-owned “other tertiary training institution” that focuses on the middle-cadre, practical ICT skills that are required in the ICT industry and the ICT “Technopreneur” space. Therefore the new laboratories will help to operationalise the professional certification centres (ICDL, VUE, Korean ICT skills competence testing centre, Cisco and ITU which in turn should substantially boost the institution’s revenue.
It is also expected that the specialised laboratories will support the growth of ICT sector competencies and narrow the ICT skills gap in training, research and innovation. This will advertently support the development, operation, management, maintenance and upgrade of ICT systems using locally groom talent thus reducing government expenditure on ICT expatriates and boosting local content in the form of jobs.
The Commission has provided support to UICT to set up; Electronics, Production Electronics, Telecommunication Systems and Multimedia laboratories, Professional Testing and Certification Centre (Pearson VUE Testing Centre), Electrical and computer laboratories at the cost of UGX. 1.4 Billion.
The coordination between UCC and UICT is formidable and well-founded. The Commission is represented on the governing council of Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology by Mr Fred Otunnu, Director for Corporate Affairs at UCC in accordance with the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act.
The Commission thanks the management and staff and all the other stakeholders that work closely with UICT in the effort to revamp the institution’s image. There is optimism that these new facilities will significantly improve operations and performance and should significantly contribute and make a significant impact to the ICT sector by bridging the skills gap and promote local content.
The Commission associates with the UICT vision “To be a World-Class Centre of Excellence in ICT Skills-Based Training, Research and Innovation.”