The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) handed over a dummy air ticket to Stephen Tashobya, a Software Developer, whose Natalsys team of young innovators, won the ICT Visionaries Award during ACIA 2016.
The team was recognised for inventing the Wekebele - a hand-held embedded monitoring system that provides options using ICT to for rural poor and expectant mothers in monitoring their health pre and during labour. Wekebele, loosely translated as "check yourself", was formerly "NATALSYS".
Accordingly, Tashobya, will be part of the Ugandan delegation to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) scheduled for Barcelona, Spain from February 27-March 2, 2017. This event takes place each year in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Spain.
MWC is the world's biggest and best mobile industry event comprising a massive exhibition, an award-winning conference, outstanding networking opportunities and partner programmes, among others.
Addressing a news conference at UCC House, Bugolobi on February 23, 2017, UCC Executive Director Mr Godfrey Mutabazi highlighted the importance of the sponsorship: "Tashobya is going to meet and engage with the high and mighty in the creativity and innovations world at the international level,¡± he said.
Tashobya, 27, who recently graduated from Makerere University with a Degree in Software Engineering, demonstrated how the Wekebele application works. He lauded UCC for the sponsorship, saying he would benefit from the sponsorship immensely.
Mutabazi echoed this by saying, "The international exposure that he's going to get will not only enhance his confidence and network building, but also challenge his thoughts further. From his experience, we know that Tashobya can help transform communities, and as UCC, we shall encourage him and guide him further.¡±
He urged young innovators and inventors in Uganda to emulate Tashobya and bring forth much more innovations. "Through ACIA and other fora, we shall facilitate collaboration, learning, access to investors and of course reward for the efforts made.¡±
Mutabazi pointed out that ACIA 2017 was already underway. "On November 28, 2016, the Commission issued a call for entries. The deadline for submission of entries is April 15, 2017. We hope to receive enough quality submissions for ACIA 2017. You can be part of this journey by visiting our website http://acia.ug," he said.
Mutabazi further urged investors, service providers, and all Ugandans in general, to support and take a keen interest in our innovations sector. "These young innovators need our full support. Already the Government of Uganda has established an Innovations Fund coordinated under the MOICT. UCC is currently hosting the ICT innovators' forum secretariat. However, the support of private sector is highly welcome.¡±
He called upon Ugandans to be proud of their own innovations. "Let's support and utilise the various indigenous ICT applications such as Jaguza livestock application and Barefoot Law, who have also already achieved international recognition,¡± he said.
Mutabazi concluded by reiterating UCC's commitment to promoting and recognising outstanding innovations in Uganda. "More so, we are keen to facilitate the growth of ICT innovation in Uganda for national development, explore the various opportunities and address the challenges that arise with novelties,¡± he said