At the Dubai Expo 2022, Minister of ICT and National Guidance Dr Chris Baryomunsi declared Uganda was Africa’s ‘Innovation Powerhouse’, promising to continue supporting the innovative nature of businesses across the country.
Uganda is emerging as Africa’s ‘Innovation Powerhouse’. Minister of ICT and National Guidance Dr Chris Baryomunsi made this clear at the Dubai Expo 2022, where he promised continuous government support for the inventive nature of businesses across the country.
“The Government of Uganda is committed to fostering a trusted and vibrant business environment, where our businesses and workers are empowered to innovate,” Baryomunsi told EABW News in April.
This is especially true in the tech industry, where countless Ugandan businesses are working to improve lives with the latest technological advancements.
Below are four standout tech innovations that are truly changing the game in Uganda.
Uganda saw one of the longest pandemic-related school closures globally, and today schools are striving to bounce back. Last April, we reported on First Lady Janet Museveni’s commitment to improving education across the country.
Privately-run Bridge Uganda is doing its part by boosting government efforts. The organisation brings low-cost, high-quality education to underserved communities using its “school-in-a-box” model.
This recruits teachers from communities themselves and arms them with e-ink tablets, which are used to deliver world-class lessons written by leading educators.
This model was recently proven successful by 2019 Nobel Prize winner Michael Kremer, causing the New York Times to recommend it in their 2022 article This Company Knows How to Increase Students’ Test Scores.
The youth-led agricultural revival
Uganda boasts swathes of rich farmland and millions of farmers. However, it’s also true that the country’s farming population makes precarious earnings that make it challenging for them to procure the equipment they need.
Today, a youth-led group from Luwero aims to change all that with their social enterprise, AgriShare.
AgriShare is an app that connects farmers to the services they need, whether it be labour, tractors, irrigation equipment, or other value additional equipment.
It also helps Uganda’s unemployed youth find jobs in the hopes of increasing manpower in agriculture.
For farmers who may not be familiar with smartphones, AgriShare’s agents conduct door-to-door campaigns to deliver their services in person.
A “chipper” way to send cash
There are countless money transfer apps out there, but they often encounter system delay issues. Enter Chipper Cash that we’ve previously lauded as one of the simplest ways to send money in Uganda and beyond.
Founded by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled, this app helps users in five African countries send money to family and friends.
To begin, users only need to register with an email address or phone number. They can then send and receive money for free — and even receive a welcome bonus of UGX 500.
Chipper Cash accepts payments from Airtel, MTN, and AFRICELL, making financial inclusion all the more accessible to millions of Ugandans.
Electrifying public transport
Matatus and boda bodas rule public transport in Kampala — but most of them run through individual operators. This means Uganda’s capital currently doesn’t have a formal and regulated public transport system.
Local companies SCINTL and Tondeka Metro are teaming up with the Israeli Optibus to fix that.
In its 2022 report Israeli Transit Tech To Help Operate Uganda’s First Public Bus Network, NoCamels explains that Optibus will help build a network of electric buses for public transport in Kampala.
Optibus’ software — which is currently used in over 1,000 cities worldwide — will be used to standardise fares, routes, and timetables. Ultimately, it aims to make public transport easier for the everyday Ugandan.
These four tech initiatives prove that Uganda is full of bright minds paving the way for progress. With them, we can truly say that the country is positioned to become Africa’s ‘Innovation Powerhouse’.