The government of Uganda, in collaboration with Chinese technology company Huawei Technologies, has introduced an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in the Teso sub-region of Eastern Uganda.
This initiative, named the “Huawei Digitruck,” was launched earlier this year with the aim of providing free digital skills training to over 10,000 individuals within a three-year period.
During the launch event, Vice President Jessica Alupo emphasized that the Digitruck project aims to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for people in the informal sector by enabling small business owners to participate in regional and national trade.
She highlighted the importance of digital transformation in human capital development and commended Huawei for making ICT accessible to a wide range of individuals, including farmers, youths, women, young girls and boys, and the elderly.
The program will be implemented in phases, starting with Katakwi, Amuria, and Kaperabyong districts and later expanding to cover all districts in the Teso sub-region.
Vice President Alupo also urged the youth to utilize the skills acquired through the program to achieve a multiplier effect and maintain discipline throughout the course. She requested Huawei to establish an ICT resource center in Katakwi for the program’s continuity and sustainability.
Alupo expressed the government’s appreciation for Huawei’s contributions to Uganda’s development, particularly in the field of smart infrastructure and education through ICT.
Additionally, she called on Huawei to provide computer knowledge and skills to parish chiefs to support the success of the PDM (Presidential Digital Media) initiative.
The Uganda DigiTruck project is a collaborative effort between Huawei Technologies, the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development, and the international social enterprise Close the Gap. It aligns with Uganda’s 2040 vision, National Development Plan, and Education Digital Agenda Strategy.
Maj Godfrey Katamba, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Katakwi, emphasized the project’s focus on promoting digital foundation skills, digital communications, information access, online transactions, internet problem-solving, online safety, civic responsibility, and data privacy. These efforts aim to digitalize informal sector enterprises for increased productivity and job growth.
DigiTrucks are mobile classrooms converted from used shipping containers and powered by solar energy. Their mobility allows them to reach remote and underserved communities without access to training facilities and reliable power sources.
Each 40-hour course offered by DigiTrucks covers digital literacy skills, including device usage, office software, and internet proficiency, as well as soft skills such as resume writing, online job applications, and running online businesses.
Connected by 4G, each DigiTruck can accommodate up to 20 learners in a single session and is equipped with Huawei IdeaHub smart screens, smartphones, and laptops, all powered by rooftop solar panels.
Gao Jian, the deputy managing director of Huawei Technologies Uganda, emphasized the strong partnership between China and Uganda and highlighted Huawei’s commitment to its social responsibilities in the country. He encouraged beneficiaries to utilize their acquired skills for e-commerce, online selling of agricultural produce, and job-seeking opportunities.