Uganda Gov’t moves to prioritize safety and security of citizen’s data

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Government is set to prioritize the safety and security of Ugandans’ data due to a rise in cybercrime, the minister for ICT Chris Baryomunsi has said. The minister revealed this during the launch of the 2023-2028 Digital Transformation roadmap.

The roadmap aims to establish a transformed public service system, characterized by streamlined processes, reduced bureaucratic delays, and enhanced citizen satisfaction; building a robust digital ecosystem where citizens and organizations operate confidently, knowing their data is protected.

According to the annual crime report, a total of 286 cases of cybercrimes were reported to the police in 2022 compared to 258 cases reported in 2021. Cybercrimes led to a loss of Shs 19.2 billion in 2022, out of which only Shs 16 million was recovered. Baryomunsi stated that the government will build a robust digital ecosystem where citizens and organizations confidently operate, knowing their data is protected.

“There should be a notable reduction in cyber threats and infringements and an increase in trust in digital platforms sees a significant uptick as data protection and privacy become synonymous with Uganda’s digital operations,” he noted.

“We shall create seamless access to digital services, where urban and rural disparities in connectivity are eradicated. Every citizen, irrespective of their geographical location, enjoys uninterrupted and affordable access to the digital world, facilitating equality in opportunity and knowledge access,” he said.

Aminah Zawedde, the permanent secretary of the ministry of ICT said the new roadmap, the government will prioritize the safety and security of Uganda’s data because trust is the backbone of digital transformation, and we will ensure that our digital platforms are both secure and respectful of individual privacy.

Vice President Jessica Alupo said the roadmap will usher in a new era of sustainable social and economic transformation across Uganda. The digital age is part of us, every text, search, connection and application represents a collective shift in the global context and environment.

“We acknowledge that ICT is more than a sector. It is a catalyst that we infiltrate every aspect of our lives, industries, and institutions. We plan to create a conducive environment that will galvanize the private sector, civil society and every citizen towards achieving with collective objective,” Alupo said.

She stated that ICT and innovation are not mere passwords, but instruments that can spur the creation of jobs. The road map does not only address the most recent technological advancements but also the pressing issue of youth unemployment.

“The digital era doesn’t wait, it moves with a relentless face and we must match its time. The time to embrace digitization is not tomorrow but today. We must prioritise it not for the sake of mere modernization, but for the ultimate beneficiary of our endeavors,” she stated.