The issue of entrepreneurship and ICT for development in Uganda today still remains a big challenge.
In a country where infrastructure is still poor and not well distributed throughout to benefit the local people as well as the urban people.
I should also acknowledge the issue of immense poverty, unemployment and lack of skills.
Different development schemes have come and gone. Some have made an impact and others have done no good at all.
Issues of ICT for development and entrepreneurship trainings are not new in our ears, but what is entrepreneurship really?
Mrs. Omara a 45 year old resident of Apac district (Northern Uganda) is a small scale farmer. Asked what kind of job she does she replied, “I am a house wife, I have no job really!” I went ahead to ask her what she does with her small produce. She said, “I have 8 children, and since I have no job, I have to produce more food crops than we consume. This helps me to earn an extra income to support the family and to take my children to school. We have an open market every Monday where I can sell my produce.”
She does not think she is an entrepreneur though because she does not have capital. But she generates some income out of her small garden to support the family.
ICT4Development on the other had still remains a very big challenge. Many people still do not understand what the term “ICT” means. All they know is ICT stand for Information and Telecommunication Technology. And every time the term ICT is mentioned, people quickly interpret it as “Internet and Computers”. So when you say Entrepreneurship and ICT, one question keeps crossing people’s minds; “How can computers and internet help to improve on our enterprises?” Simply because thats their interpretation of ICTs in a layman’s language.
In a recent five (5) day “Training in Entrepreneurship and ICT Skills “ conducted in Apac District of Northern Uganda, people were surprised to learn that Mobile phones, Newspapers and Radios are also ICT tools. Out of the 45 women participating in the training, 39 own mobile phones and only 6 do not own mobile phones.
The training was organized by Women of Uganda Network with support from the NEPAD Spanish fund for African women Economic empowerment to support a project on “Enhancing Income Growth among small and micro women entrepreneurs through the use of ICTs”.
The project targets women entrepreneurs from the three districts of Ibanda (Western Uganda), Mukono (Central Uganda) and Apac (Northern Uganda).
The purpose of this project is to promote the economic empowerment among small and micro women entrepreneurs in the three districts of Uganda.