National IT Survey Dr. Fredrick Kitogo, Director of planning, Research &Development addresses participants represented NITA-U Executive Director NITA-U
Dr. Fredrick Kitogo, Director of planning, Research &Development addresses participants represented NITA-U Executive Director NITA-U

Earlier this week, the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and NITA-U held a dissemination workshop to discuss key findings from the National IT survey of the National IT Survey 2017/2018.

According to a statement from NITA-U, the “survey was conducted amongst Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Local Governments (LGs) and Households from across the country in 2017.”

“The main objective of the study was to ascertain the status of Information Technology in terms of availability, access and usage, affordability and satisfaction with IT infrastructure, equipment and services.”

One of the main findings of the survey was that women are taking the lead when it comes to smartphone ownership. “15.8% of individuals that owned mobile phone indicated that it was a smartphone,” NITA-U tweeted.

This implies that for every 100 people that own mobile phones, 16 have a smartphone.

Adding that “a higher proportion of female individuals owned smart phones [sic] (18.1%) compared to male individuals (13.4%)”. Implying that for every 100 women that own mobile phones, 18 have smartphones. And, for every 100 men that own mobile phones, 13 have a smartphone.

Yet, one wouldn’t expect the trend to be anything close to that. Because another finding says that women find it harder to afford mobile phones. “More female individuals indicated that they could not afford a mobile phone (90.5%) compared to male individuals (84.3%),” NITA-U tweeted.

Some other key findings of the survey surrounded affordability and usage.

NITA-U has in the recent past focused its efforts on e-Government services. They believe this is the best way to engage the burgeoning tech-savvy youths.

“We cannot afford to wait. We have the youngest population in the world and it is growing, E- government [sic] is one of the ways we will ensure efficient and transparent service delivery to an increasingly tech savvy [sic] generation. That is why, NITA-U has set up the e-citizens portal, http://ecitizen.go.ug/,” said Dr Fredrick Kitoogo, Director of planning, Research &Development who represented NITA-U’s Executive Director, James Saaka

While as they have a rough understanding, the efforts seem misguided or insufficient. For example, how many know about the e-government services portal?

Another critical issue is the dissemination of findings. The starting point would be uploading the reports on NITA-U’s website. Something that isn’t happening. The last report uploaded was in 2015. Even this recently released survey only has part of the information shared. Which means the media can’t afford to disseminate timely or accurate information.

Plus, there are existing players that have done surveys and studies in this area like GSMA. NITA-U can sub-contract them to ensure the findings are as accurate as they can be and well disseminated.

Also read: 6 key reports that’ll give you a snapshot of the African startup and tech ecosystem

The National IT Survey 2017/2018 is part of a five year Strategic Plan to develop a bank of well researched IT Statistics by The National Information Technology Authority Uganda through the Ministry of ICT, attracted key players from the ICT sectors. To know more of the findings, for now, follow the hashtag #NITS2017 on twitter.

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