Uganda’s Digital Transformation has improved significantly, according to the World Bank`s Govtech Index Maturity Report 2022.
Uganda has been ranked the second in East Africa after Tanzania in Govtech Maturity Index 2022.
However, Uganda out competed her East African counterparts on the core government systems index (CGSI) and Digital citizen engagement index (DCEI).
The GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) measures the key aspects of four GovTech focus areas – supporting core government systems, enhancing service delivery, mainstreaming citizen engagement, and fostering GovTech enablers and assisting practitioners in the design of new digital transformation projects.
The report shows that Uganda’s Govtech Maturity index value has risen from 0.639 in 2020 to 0.858 in 2022.
According to the Executive Director NITA-U Dr. Hatwib Mugasa, Uganda`s Digital Agenda is focused on mainstreaming citizens engagement, core government systems and online services to support public sector modernization.
Mugasa said NITA-U developed the UG-Hub, “an integration platform for core government systems that enables seamless sharing of data cross government with 93 entities having been integrated.”
The Index highlights integration as an entry point for strengthening the GovTech approach.
However, Uganda continues to face many challenges in the tech world, including low levels of awareness about technology among policymakers and regulators in Uganda.
Cyber crimes continue to be a menace to the banking industry and the cost of internet remains prohibitive in Uganda.
Nevertheless, Dr. Hatwib noted that the concluded Regional Communication Infrastructure Program (RCIP) improved Uganda`s Digital competitiveness affirmed by the GovTech Maturity report 2022.
NITA-U extended broadband connectivity across the country, established an ISO Tier 3 National Data Centre offering centralized hosting services to Government institutions.
Despite progress in online service delivery and underlying National IT Survey (2022) findings which show that although significant progress has shared platforms, the Digital divide in the world is on the rise which aligns with Uganda in terms of overall penetration of and utilization of IT services.
Unequal access to and use of such services across the country remains a major challenge with especially rural-urban, gender, and income-based divides.
According to Dr. Hatwib Mugasa Government should allocate adequate resources for investments in shared digital public infrastructure, digital skills development and innovation in the public sector.
Government of Uganda should provide more incentives and financial support to GovTech startups/SMEs to promote the private sector involvement in addressing public sector challenges.
The use of frontier and disruptive digital technologies can greatly improve core government operations and online service delivery since Uganda has put in place GovTech foundations like the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) National Data Centre, Government Integration Platform.