The Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Monica Musenero has emphatically revealed that the ongoing digital transformation in the country is spurring technological innovations among Ugandans and can be trusted with the right partners such as COSEKE, the first electronic records management company in East Africa, founded in 1990 in Tanzania.
She emphasized that digital transformation is a big economic push that fits well into the National Development Plan 3, and warned that Ugandans cannot afford to carry on in the analogue mode.
Dr Musenero made the remarks while speaking at a workshop that assembled senior records management experts and Information Technology experts on Digital Transformation on Friday 3rd March 2023 at Golden Tulip Canaan Kampala Hotel.
The Forum was organized by Coseke and partners Kodak Alaris and Rookie Ninja.
Dr. Musenero explained that with the presence of the internet, innovators now have access to the tools, platforms and safety measures to tap into the opportunities generated by digital transformation and urged them to be focus on Technology Transfer and Technology Development rather than mere users.
The Minister believes that the sustainability of digital transfer is dependent on technology transfer. She noted that while Uganda might be decades behind the developed countries, it is not interested in ‘trying to crawl while others are running very fast’.
“So we are going to fill the gaps while we are moving at par with what is moving. We have a national strategy we call loop and leap for digital transformation. The strategy deals with ensuring that gaps we missed are filled,” Noted Dr. Musenero
Speaking at the same event, Rosemary Kisembo, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Identification and Registration Authority of Uganda (NIRA), said her organization has worked with Kodak products supplied by Coseke to digitalize data at NIRA over the years and the results have been amazing. She noted that today NIRA information is easy to access and is secur echoeing the need for trust and reliability of any management system.
Mr. Josephat Macheta, the Country Manager Coseke (U) Ltd, noted that digital transformation is a matter of urgency because it addresses risks that are associated with the way organizations and government work.
Coseke group, has since 1990 specialized in providing information and content management solutions by effectively capturing, managing, preserving and digitizing information to improve operational efficiency.
This way, Mr Macheta explained that the risk of losing documents with important data through theft, fires and other forms of destruction is minimized by transferring data from hard or manual form to digital or soft copy for proper storing and safety.
Digitizing data, Mr Macheta said, improves its authenticity, minimizes duplication and puts in place better security controls which prevent the wrong people from accessing this information.
“This is why we normally talk to our clients and share with them the type of solutions that we can offer. The main purpose is to secure their records and adress trust fears,” Mr Macheta told the meeting.
“To do this, we use systems that are able to protect access to these records. Our systems don’t allow someone who, say, has stolen a document that has already been captured into digital to be accessed unless they use a specific tool that protects that document,” he noted.
“When this document is being accessed during transfer, just in case it lands to someone it wasn’t intended for, our system provides for security and restriction tools which can protect and allow specific people using user rights access it” he added.
To digitize data, Mr Macheta says one needs a digital transformation strategy that informs him or her what type of hardware they need like document scanners and software to process, organize, classify and process images.
Jeff Thuo, the Managing Director of Coseke Group, notes that the main challenge in digitization and technology is change management because technology sometimes disrupts how life has been and how things are done.
He adds that getting people to do things differently and getting people to trust the system as opposed to the physical people can be hard.
“Overtime, we have learnt to take the customer through this journey of change management, how to build the system by showing them audit trails, showing them the authenticity of the system, the security features, and give them the confidence to work with the system”.
He explained that automation gives an organization an edge over the competition, saves time; it’s cheaper and is environmentally clean as it saves trees that would have been cut to make papers to print on data.
Coseke prides of having set up flawless records and general information management systems with URSB, PUBLIC SERVICE COMISSION, UNEB, Hospitals, PAU and several other public and private companies in Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda,Kenya in addition to Uganda.