The College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) in partnership with Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), International Computer Driving License (ICDL), and Federation of Small & Medium Enterprises (FSME) launched a pilot digital literacy and skilling campaign for SME’s within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area held at Makerere University on 5th June 2018.
Some of the key Guests of Honor and speakers at the launch were Mr. Nyombi Tembo (Director, Rural Development Fund), Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi (Executive Director, UCC), Ms. Barbara Nalubega (Head of Dept., CoCIS), Assoc. Prof. G. Maiga (Dean, School of Computing and IT), Mr. Michael Niyitegeka (Country Manager, ICDL, Uganda), and Mr. Phillip Ssekimpi Kakembo (Chairperson Uganda Tailor’s Association).
The objective of launching the five weeks Digital Literacy skills training was to help entrepreneurs with small/medium businesses embrace ICT and make themselves competitive with their counterparts all over the world.
A 2015 study by the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises (FSME) indicated that only 9% of the 300 businesses interviewed in Uganda have their contacts listed online, 6% advertise online and 22% admitted to having basic computer knowledge.
At least 14% confirmed having benefited from their online engagement, while 73% admitted that digital illiteracy was hindering them from running their businesses effectively hence the need to embrace digital operations for future growth.
According to Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi, the digital skills will foster entrepreneurship, innovation and boost competitiveness of the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and is targeting 1000 entrepreneurs in Kampala, Mukono, Entebbe and Wakiso regions.
Digital Citizen is a curriculum specifically developed by ICDL to cater for those with no experience whatsoever of computers. This curriculum introduced the participants to basic concepts of using a computer, using the internet, creating and accessing emails, using social media, and creating files and folders.
The project was coordinated by the FSME an established umbrella body for Small and Medium Enterprises in Uganda, training facilitated by the Centre for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD) at the College while funding was provided by UCC under the Rural Development Fund.