Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Huawei, Makerere University To Offer Free ICT Certification Courses To Students

Huawei, a leading global Information Communications Provider entered an agreement with Makerere University to establish an ICT Academy in Uganda.

The academy will offer free certification to students with the aim to improve and cultivate ICT talent, bridge the gap between universities and the corporate world by offering hands-on training, promote ICT industry technology certification, develop ICT industry talent and a strong learning ecosystem.

The event that took place at Makerere Guest House was presided over by Uganda’s ICT and National Guidance Minister Hon. Frank Tumwebaze. The ceremony was attended by the Chinese embassy Charge d ’affairs, Huawei Managing director, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere, and students from different Ugandan universities.

The academy, according to an MOU signed during the event, will run as a non-commercial cooperation project between Huawei and universities, colleges, and other educational institutions all over the world.

Huawei’s Managing Director Mr. Liujiawei stressed that Huawei would cooperate with the various universities of Uganda such as Makerere and those in the countryside to teach ICT courses to over 1,000 students, encourage students to get certified by Huawei and cultivate professionals with practical skills for the world and ICT Chain, without charge. 

He also added that, “Huawei has so far cooperated with more than 300 universities around the world and educates more than 10,000 students every year.”

“The Huawei ICT Academy course combines both theories and practical operations since some students hardly have project experience. These range from Enterprise Networks such as Routing and Switching, Advanced Network and Network technology, information technology such as Storage, Cloud computing and big data among others,” Mr. Liujiawei said.

The ICT academy will immediately enroll students in June this year after certifying the lecturers who will teach them. The lecturers are already undergoing training and will soon complete their certificates with Huawei.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hon Frank Tumwebaze commended Huawei for their consistency in skilling and talent nurturing because it is in line with the digital strategy of transforming Uganda into a middle income country.

He affirmed that, “through Huawei’s initiatives such as these, shall cultivate and pool together ICT professionals that are crucial to industry development, thus boosting ICT industry development, driving the development of different sectors and contributing to lower unemployment rates over the long term.”

Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe said that they are ready to work with Huawei to ensure that this programme is well implemented.

After Makerere, Huawei notes that they will move to other public universities to establish the same academy. Those include Kyambogo, Lira, Gulu, Muni, Busitema and Mbarara universities, among others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Sudhir Advises Young Entrepreneur To Get Their Hands Dirty

If there is one person admired by the youth and upcoming entrepreneurs, it is businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, whose break out story is phenomenon and energizing. And when he offers counsel, it holds water.

In an interview with CEO East Africa, the businessman has advised youths and the young entrepreneurs to get down and get their hands dirty.

“Uganda, like every other country has its own challenges and opportunities but the future belongs to those who go after the opportunities not the ones that always whining about the challenges,” he said.

“Government has invested significantly in roads, electricity generation and distribution which are all factors of production. It is now up to us as Ugandans to put in our all and make the best use of these, all the challenges regardless.

“The youth today are blessed to be born in the era of the internet, there is boundless opportunities.”

Bank Of Uganda Extends DFCU Bank’s Occupancy Of Sudhir’s Properties

DFCU Bank will continue to occupy freehold properties of Meera Investments Ltd for another 24 months. This comes after Bank of Uganda signed to extend the dfcu Bank extra time on the properties.

According to PMLDaily.com, a local news site, central bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, his deputy Dr. Louis Kasekende and legal director Margaret Kasule okayed the deal officially.

The contested properties are those that used to house Crane Bank branches across the country. They are owned by Meera Investments Ltd, a company that is owned by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

Crane Bank was also owned by Ruparelia before it was taken over by the central bank and later sold to DFCU Bank. When DFCU took over assets and liabilities of Crane Bank is also moved into the said properties.

At the moment, Ruparelia and Meera Investment in court contesting the move by Bank of Uganda to hand over the buildings to DFCU Bank. The businessman is demanding that DFCU pays rent and rent arrears in billions of shillings.

Why Bunyoro Needs To Focus On Development Minerals Just Like Oil And Gas

By Tusiime Priscillar and Michael Businge

Uganda’s vision 2040 is a reflection of the country’s aspirations of where it needs to be or look like in 30 years. It provides development paths and strategies to operationalize the country’s vision statement of Transformed Ugandan Society from a peasant to a Modern and prosperous country within 30years

This vision is conceptualized around strengthening the fundamentals of the national economy to harness the opportunities around the country. Uganda identified key opportunities which include oil and gas, tourism, minerals, ICT businesses, abundant labour force, geographical location and trade, water resources, industrialization and agriculture among others.

Despite vision 2040 clearly highlighting minerals as one of the key drivers to sustainable development of the country, little or no attention has been put on minerals and development minerals. Development minerals are minerals that are mined, processed and manufactured or used domestically in industries.

However much these minerals are widely used, they are not known or recognized as major minerals. These minerals include; salt, sand, clay, semi-precious stones, murram and dimension stones among others.

 Development Minerals present viable opportunities to the people of Uganda. However, their exploitation also presents serious dangers to the local people, nature and environment if not well harnessed. These can include occupational health and safety risks during the process of exploitation of these Development Minerals.

The manner in which Development Minerals are exploited is less regulated. It is predominantly by informal artisanal miners and employ rudimentary technologies, actors are either unskilled or semi- skilled. In most case, there is use children and vulnerable women as source of cheap labour and this leads to exploitation other than transformation of people.

 Development Minerals have become of focus to Bunyoro given the numerous ongoing and future developments as a result of oil and gas and fast urbanization. Road construction in the Albertine region demands murram, clay, bricks, sand especially from the lake, stone gravel all of which form the Development Minerals notion.

Other development infrastructure such as the East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP), the Hoima International Airport, the Refinery, industrial parks among others all call for Development Minerals as key supplies to their development.

What we need to ask ourselves is how much of these will be needed? Where can they be got from? And as part of the local content policy, we need to find out if these can be supplied locally to enhance participation in the development process.

 However, despite this ever increasing demand, there is no clear and well framed actions to exploit, use and protect, demand for restoration, preservation and meaningful benefits from these Development Minerals by the population especially the local people.

The process of development and utilization of Development Minerals has numerous challenges including death, environmental challenges like unrestored quarry sites where water can collect thus breeding places for mosquitoes hence malaria.

They also have loss of soil structure and nutrients which affects local agriculture and other social economic activities. In some areas of the region, artisanal mining has encouraged school dropout and hence encouraging child labour.

This sector has not been put on a lot of emphasis which has left children victims of circumstances. Which generation shall we have in 30 years to come?  The need to make personal income to facilitate their needs lead to overexploitation them.

This is due to the fact that Development Minerals have not been regulated and no clear legal framework governing them. All Development Minerals have other associated evils such as dust exposure, heat stress, flying rock fragments, and poor sanitation and hygiene. 

As Ugandans and people in Bunyoro, we therefore need to give focus on these minerals and other development minerals just like oil and gas development.  By doing so, we can focus on the following; 

  1. We need to ensure that there is occupational health and safety measures during the process of exploitation of Development Minerals, monitor and regulate all Development Minerals by both Central and Local Government with critical attention to local mines like,
  2. Ensure that there is sustainable and environmentally friendly Utilisation approaches by developers and communities engaged in Development Minerals.
  • Creating awareness of the relationship between Development Minerals, development and environment.
  1. Isolate Development Minerals from the wider environmental, oil and gas and mineral conversation in order to give it more meaning and sustainable utilization advocacy.
  2. Create awareness programs on how to manage Development Mineral resources without damaging the environment.
  3. Explore to Local Governments alternative sources of local revenue from the Development Minerals which can be used to enhance budget support and enhance service delivery

 About the writers;

  1. Tusiime Priscillar is a coordinator for Minerals and Development Minerals platform at Midwestern Region Anti-corruption Coalition (MIRAC)
  2. Michael Businge is a coordinator for Bunyoro Albertine Petroleum Network on Environmental conservation (BAPENECO)

 

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