I welcome you all to this 1st press briefing in 2014 at UCC where we are launching the 4th edition of ACIA 2014.
UCC has a statuary mandate to promote research and development in the sector. In fulfilment of this mandate, UCC has adopted a number of strategies including provision of funding support, raising awareness about research and innovation, providing platforms to facilitate linkages between private and public innovation actors.
ACIA was established to provide a platform to recognize outstanding innovations from local companies and individuals in the development and adoption of ICTs in Uganda.
Since inception in 2010, ACIA has grown remarkably in prominence in terms of increased number of entries each year, quality of the submissions and glamour of the awards event.
ACIA has since attained the hall mark of being a very credible awards event in Uganda. It is purposeful, the processes are transparent and benefits are mutual.
Globally, the ICT sector is driven by innovations. Innovation is recognised as an engine for economic growth. According to the UN systems Task Team on post 2015 UN development agenda, broadening the culture of science, technology and innovation and creation of incentives are important to the promotion of innovation in a country.
In Uganda, we have a lot of potential especially among our youngsters whom we need to identify, nurture and develop so as to drive innovations in our sector.
As a country we should not only be net users of ICT applications developed elsewhere but also create solutions for local challenges. However, local content should not mean inferior quality. The solution/application or innovation should be scalable and adoptable to any environment. (e.g the mobile money application which is believed to have been created in Kenya has now attained international recognition).
In the region, UCC pioneered ICT innovation awards in the sector and we have been applauded for this imitative. In the near future, we may consider scaling up ACIA and invite participation from within the EAC region.
Lastly, I would like to thank all those individuals and institutions who participated in the previous awards. For those who did not win should not be discouraged but should try again.
I now launch ACIA 2014 effective 5th February 2014. The details of the categories, method of submission and submission deadline are in the press kit.
Godfrey Mutabazi EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR February 5, 2014