The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic development (MFPED), through the Competitiveness and Investment Climate Strategy (CICS) secretariat, in partnership with the College of Computing and Information Science (COCIS) held a stakeholders meeting on 20th July 2016 to discuss the prospects of setting up an Innovation and Incubation Centre within the Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development at College of Computing and IS, Makerere University. The objective of the Innovation and Incubation Centre is to provide a vehicle for nurturing talent in products development using ICT/BPO.
The Principal, Assoc. Prof Constant Okello Obura welcomed the stakeholders to the meeting and thanked the students that came up with the idea of an Innovation and Incubation Center as well as highlighting that the College was moving in the right direction towards solving national challenges.
“Let’s give our best ideas to have a successful centre to ensure there are no failures since most startups have failed because of poor planning.” The Principal said.
The students then presented a synopsis of the entire idea by defining what the Innovation and Incubation Centre’s operational and organizational structure, sustainability plan and its monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The centre will mentor creative developers interested in finding solutions to the many challenges faced in the country.
Dr. Peter Ngategize, the National Coordinator at the Ministry of Finance urged the group to focus on Education, Health and Agriculture. He further urged the team to focus on the productivity of the idea in making business and requested the College to identify talented students early and nurture them.
The presentations aroused a lot of reactions from the audience and the major concern was on the sustainability of the Centre. The students were advised to dig deeper into why previous Centre’s have failed but also pick a leaf from the success stories of internationally based Innovation and Incubation Centre’s.
Mr. Acer Godfrey, a Board member of the National Planning Authority advised the students to avoid duplication and overlap of ideas and mandate protectionism to save time.
Mr. Martin Ssekajja, the Deputy Director ICT for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) urged the team to be market oriented and to not only engage the private sector but the Government as well.
Students from Lake View Secondary School, Jinja visited the College of Computing and Information Science on 21st July 2016 as part of an ICT tour to Makerere University. The students toured the facilities of the College (i.e. Block B) and got the opportunity to see the lecture halls and computer labs.
Mr. Charles Halonda-Funa, the Communications officer at the College was the tour guide and provided the students with the necessary information about the courses offered at the College. He encouraged the students to work hard and attain the grades required to get admitted at Makerere University since admission to the University is very competitive. He also encouraged their teachers to continue sensitizing the students on ICT since all professions use it.