The fourth industrial revolution has brought rapid advances in technology that are changing the way societies produce, distribute and consume goods and services.
This revolution has seen a convergence of technologies. Whereas applications like autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, nanorobots and bioprinting have traditionally been experimented with in siloes, these can now be easily integrated. Uganda has identified an opportunity these technologies provide for accelerating development and creating new opportunities for employment and growth.
Genesis is providing technical support to Uganda's Presidential Taskforce on the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) to formulate a national 4IR strategy. The taskforce was appointed by the president to guide the country on areas where 4IR technology can be domesticated to achieve development objectives.
This strategy recognises that digital technologies are not just becoming the cornerstone of people's daily activities, but are becoming a critical factor of economic growth. This requires governments, businesses and individuals be adequately prepared to maximise the gains and minimise the risks that this revolution brings.
Genesis conducted a comprehensive scoping of 4IR opportunities in Uganda to identify the areas of 4IR application that hold the greatest potential to deliver the country's Vision 2040 of becoming a middle-income country. The identified opportunities are improving the productivity of agriculture, transforming human capital development, closing the shortfall in economic opportunity, and managing urbanisation and governance.
Unlocking these opportunities relies on the availability of strong systems, resources and coordinators. Genesis conducted a 4IR readiness assessment that diagnosed the state of the 4IR ecosystem in five areas critical for these opportunities: 4IR connectivity, agile governance, upskilled population, eGovernment, and resource mobilisation. This analysis provided a view on areas where intervention is required to support the emergence and scaling of these opportunities.
These two areas of analysis were key inputs in the design of Uganda’s 4IR strategy. Genesis used these insights and worked with the taskforce to obtain further input from a broad cross-section of the 4IR ecosystem in Uganda to formulate a national 4IR strategy.
The strategy identifies the critical enablers required to realise the identified 4IR opportunities. Some examples include access to mobile networks, the availability of technology skills, and the existence of a legislative and regulatory framework that supports the emergence and safe deployment of 4IR innovations. Actions to strengthen these enablers are highlighted. The strategy also identifies three delivery mechanisms required to support the sustainable and safe rollout of the strategy. These delivery mechanisms enable coordination in resource allocation, in government decision making, in execution of opportunities and in the data ecosystem. Uganda’s 4IR strategy is under review by the taskforce.