Two days annual PACT conference concluded
By. Geoffrey Nyerere and Prossy Tulinomubezi
The annual Pan African Conference on Science, Computing and Telecommunications (PACT 2015) that opened Monday 27 July, has been wrapped up today Tuesday 28, 2015 at Fairway Hotel Kampala-Uganda.
Hon. Nyombi Thembo, the guest of honor at the conference said the government of Uganda places a lot of importance in research, knowledge transfers and innovations. He assured the Ugandan researchers that the government will be there to support innovations that are aimed at improving the livelihood of the people.
Nyombi also commended PACT for its ability to support active and productive research encouraging innovations and research in the computing and communications sectors.
“The Ugandan government under the Ministry of ICT has taken steps to promote several institutions including the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), The Uganda National Council of Science, and Technology, UCC among others,” Nyombi said.
The Uganda Communications Commission assured continuous support for ICT projects saying that it is mandated to promote research and development of new communication technics and improve communications services and ensure equitable distribution of services throughout the country.
Patrick Mwesigwa, a representative of UCC director, UCC said that it has established ICT laboratories in over 1,000 government aided secondary schools of which 600 schools are connected to the internet.
“UCC has embarked on supporting and encouraging young ICT innovators through annual communications innovations awards,” he added.
Abdul Nsubuga from NITA-U said that they have entered into MoUs with Makerere University to provide collaboration frameworks in identifying priority IT research areas, research agenda and collectively attracting grants from potential founders.
“NITA-U plans to establish a multi-purpose ICT park that would help in attracting big multinational companies into the industry,” Nsubuga said
Closing the conference, Assoc. Prof. Constant Okello Obura, the Principal of the College of Computing and Information Sciences held that the conference help to share ideological thinking among researchers and therefore should be encouraged.
“The conference yields benefits since its results can help to ensure social economic transformation and if published and well translated, policy makers can be in position to use them,” said Obura.
Dr. Gilbert Maiga the dean CoCIS thanked the funders of the conference which included the ministry of information and communications technology Kampala, Uganda Communications Commission, Ministry of education NITA_U… and he said they are looking forward to utilizing the results of the research.
The two day PACT 2015 conference saw paper presentations by delegates from different universities across Africa such as South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda among others.
It is the third consecutive conference to be held since the first one was in Lusaka Zambia 2013, and the second at Nelson Mandela institute of Science and Technology Arusha Tanzania 2014.