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» 24.03.2011 - How cyber-activism lent savvy to North African protests
» 16.02.2011 - Nascent Libya protests spark enthusiasm
» 01.02.2010 - Voice sms, a success in Uganda
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» 18.07.2008 - Climate change bleaks Uganda coffee harvest
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» 29.09.2004 - Uganda's mining sector attracts investments
» 03.03.2004 - Wireless healthcare project in Uganda wins award

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Ugandan university goes digital

afrol News, 18 May - Makerere University in Uganda has become the first higher learning institution in East Africa to install new information and communication technology.

It means students from now on can use the internet to conduct researches or and off the campus.

Owned by the university’s business school, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) funded project cost US $1.5 million. The installed information portal aims to enable students to settle school fees, register, manage their course work as well as crosscheck their assignments with the use of internet.

The project was launched by President Yoweri Museveni. He hailed the project as an important innovative technology for the 21st century. President Museveni said the technology will bring Ugandan students at par with the 21st century global students.

"The fact that a Ugandan student can get access to recorded materials as long as it is written in English is a good innovation because this is a knowledge multiplier where there are few computers that capture knowledge that would be found in over 40 libraries," President Museveni overwhelmingly said.

He urged other institutions of higher learning to also go digital because the programme opens the gates to innovative students and exposes them to their peers in Asia and Europe. He said upon completion, Ugandan students will lead the country into the information age that offers information technology experts and outsourcing of services.

An Investment Officer of IFC, Scott Featherstone, borrowed Nelson Mandela’s words that "education is the most powerful weapon to use to change the world.”

He said it is therefore a challenge to “all of us to ensure that higher standards of education are achieved through modern methods of conducting education activities, especially using ICTs.”

Socketworks, an ICT expertise company in Kampala was given the task to install the programme. Its President, Dr. Aloy Chife, said the main aim of the project is to accelerate the development of Africa by Africans. Dr. Chife said the reality of education today is that no student would risk graduating without ICT.

15 universities in six other African countries, including Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria have already gone digital.

But in the opinion of Wassawa Balunywa, an Associate Professor of Makerere, the new project is an innovation that intends to transform and revolutionise the university’s administrative and operating systems.

The portal also includes back end devices that include servers, storage devices, back up devices and a dedicated twenty four hour wide wireless access system through an interactive website that can be accessed at any internet connection in the world.

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