NCC 2022: An insight into the role of Academia in digital transformation

By Mukalere Justine

Uganda Christian University (UCU) participated in the 7th National Conference on Communications (NCC2022) under the theme; “Inclusive Digital Transformation Through Innovation”, which happened between June, 21 -22, 2022.

The annual conference organized by; the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Makerere University in collaboration with the Uganda Communications Commission brought various ICT players on the same platform to discuss issues of inclusion through innovation in the digital era. Policymakers (Ministry of ICT, NITA-U), Academia (Institutions of learning), and the industry (RENU, HUAWEI, WUGNET, OUTBOX among others) graced the event.

With the discussions steered in the direction of digital inclusion through innovation, the need to bridge the gap between academia and the industry was very evident.

The question of how the academic institutions teach and train learners to equip them with skills to innovate and serve in the industry became too loud to ignore, requiring an urgent solution to the challenge of inadequate resources and skill gap amidst the various opportunities to light which can be utilized.

Inclusion, innovation, and skill gap is not a conversation to be exhausted in a two-day sitting; prompting the need for policymakers, industry and academia to come together in order to develop a practical, yet sustainable plan on how to support learners in both public and private institutions if the so needed digital transformation is to be realized.

A few proposed ways to encourage and support innovation:
  • Mindset change towards ICT and innovation
  • collaborations between and among academic institutions
  • involvement of the industry players in curricula development
  • development and operationalization of supporting policies
  • creation and equipping of accessible incubation hubs
Left to right; Mr. Kubanja Martin, Katumbire Bobm Kauta Marvin, Nandawula Maria, Akech Mary Francis, Wani Julius, Lukeera Micheal and Ms. Mukalere Justine (sitting)

UCU was physically represented by two lecturers (Ms. Mukalere Justine (Myself) and Mr. Kubanja Martin) and six students from the department of Computing and Technology, with another team of students attending the event online since the conference followed a blended approach (physical and online).

The author is a Lecturer at the UCU Department of Computing and Technology