Online services could earn economy of Uganda $30m a year

Posted on August 14, 2013 06:18 pm

Depending on your school of thought, brainstorming or idea mining, is a process that involve “blue thinkers” sharing their statistics and facts. Recently, I was lucky to have had a session with such a pool of talented team that was conducting a research on how much digital economy could be worth in the East African region and the opportunities available in the future. According a team member, a country like Uganda can invest $5 million or less into online self service capabilities for Ugandan apprentices and their employers and the developing economy could end up reaping dividends of up $30 million annually. Armed with facts, he told me that such an initiative implementation could end up saving the country’s economy more than $60million annually and eventually bring down levels of wastages that Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni lamented in his state of the nation address. After sieving the statistics, I realized that Ugandan government can provide self services portals using modern on line authentication technology which employers and apprentices will be able to manage their own information, access payments and submit information electronically in a manner and time that is convenient to everyone.

One of the ladies involved in the research was of the view that Ugandan government and others across the region can cut apprenticeship burden that has led to ghost workers in most civil service departments to a juddering halt. They can achieve that through supporting online self service established by employers who are thoroughly acquainted with the process and who according to data, employ close to 13% of all apprentices in Uganda. Another member was categorical that in East Africa, employers who are active in the apprenticeships system requires minimal support that will generally have the capacity to fully self serve. What I picked during idea mining meet up, if governments invest in online services, they can eliminate the ghost workers menace and under such schemes, service delivery will be flawless. Such a system could also form part of a broader push by the Ugandan governments to reform the apprenticeship system as well as civil service delivery and keep up with the regional skills race where neighboring countries of Kenya and Tanzania seem to have surged ahead. New electronic business capability could also streamline administration processes, providing savings of $100 million per annum in administration costs. I also learnt that if governments were to divert resources away from paperwork towards one on one support task, they could also help address the alarming time and resources wastage, which currently sits at above 30 percent in all East African countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi.For Uganda online service delivery is a key ingredient to such successes.

Contador Harrison