Uganda’s Public Universities Get Dutch ICT Funds

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The Netherlands government has provided 5.7m Euros (about sh13b) to boost the development of information and communication technology in four public universities in the country.

Makerere, Mbarara, Kyambogo and Gulu universities will benefit from the project dubbed 'strengthening ICT training and research capacity'.

Peace Tumuheki, the project coordinator of the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation, said during the second quality assurance workshop for the universities at Colline Hotel, Mukono last week.

Tumuheki said the project came up after a successful implementation of a 3.3m Euros (about sh8b) package that ran from 2004 to 2008. She said the funds would be channeled through her organisation.

"Our public universities face limited funding, so this project seeks to manage and implement relevant educational and research programmes in information and communications technology," Tumuheki added.

She said the funds would also be used to develop ICT infrastructure, promote gender balance among the staff and student community and enhance ICT awareness.

Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba of Makerere University, who will head the four-year scheme, said the funds were timely.

"The society we live in looks upon us for solutions to transform their lives. We have a responsibility to use the resources we have to achieve this," he said.

Prof. John Opuda-Asibo, the Kyambogo university deputy vice-chancellor, called for frequent interaction with the private sector and NGOs so as to produce students who are relevant to their societies.

"The role of the community in guiding universities should not be ignored" Asibo stressed.

New Vision