Are Ugandan Citizens Digitally Ready Enough ?
To ensure positive economic growth and development that benefits all citizens, Uganda we believe must make big strides in digital literacy given the emergency of the pandemic Covid-19 commonly known as Corona. Businesses and Governments are migrating all services online and very few can cope up with the pace this is taking especially the grassroot women in the villages spread across the country.
We used to think of the three R’s- reading, writing and arithmetic – as the foundational skills in today’s education systems. As we turn to a new decade and a new normal due to Covid-19, its time to add another: digital.
Digital Woman Uganda, a civic-tech and Digital Rights Advocacy Organization- operating an ICT powered model to extend the literacy and skills of an eco-system economy that the world currently operates in to a woman/ girl child, Preparing the African women/ girls to be competitive and self -sustaining in this Digital World.
Digital literacy is the 21st century layer to the essential human capability of communication. Its defined as the ability to use digital technology, communication tools, or networks to locate, evaluate, use, and create information. This could mean anything from knowing how to send a text, search for information, download and interpret that information, or how to connect with people on social networks. A lot of solutions have been digitally innovated and incubated from fintech, edutech, agri-tech etc but most of the citizens in Uganda especially the rural areas are un able to digitally and satisfactorily consume these solutions to the fullest. This due to the high levels of digital literacy amongst most, that they may not even have an idea about what’s out there or better still what the Internet means or even heard about the word (Internet) itself.
That aside, as we went around the country in the East deep in Gogonyo Sub county, Pallisa District, I realized the urge and hunger of knowledge in regard about the Internet, so many of Uganda’s citizens are yearning to learn and use the Internet to the fullest though constrained with a lot of difficulties that come along with one getting online such as cost of equipment that one needs to get online as the biggest hindrance for them, the knowledge and skills on how to navigate the Internet once online amongst others.
There’s a lot of complacency in mobile networks caused by the oligopoly they hold on digital connectivity in emerging markets. The people who could arguably benefit the most from mobile technologies like VoIP are often charged the most. That’s hugely uncompetitive and unfair. If you’re going to be in position of responsibility, then be responsible.
Pinno Ivan Louis- Co-founder