by Kato Mivule
Makerere University opened a multi-million dollar I.T center, thanks in part to global companies like Google, Rockefeller Foundation, HP, Nokia, Siemens, and Sun Microsystems. Makerere University now has a clear role to play when it comes to providing solutions to poverty, illitracy, and diseases and how Information Technology can help in this cause.
MAKERERE University has opened a computing and information technology centre to develop local computer software. The 12,000sq metre complex valued at over $20m is expected to connect over 100 universities in 13 African countries with India in e-education. It is part of the Faculty of Computing and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Makerere IT centre to link 100 varsities – New Vision
There has always been a school of thought that public universities should not use tuition fees to invest in long-term projects. Proponents of this argument reason that such projects should be left to the government and donors; with tuition fees going into short-term necessities like buying chalk, books, computers and paying staff emoluments. But as Makerere University’s CIT faculty has demonstrated; this is not always true. For example, just before the new centre can be opened, the Netherlands government, Rockefeller Foundation, HP, Nokia, Siemens, Sun Microsystems and Google have donated equipment worth over Shs5 billion. The returns will even be bigger when the centre becomes operational.
Lessons from Makerere Computer Complex – Daily Monitor
However, Makerere University should be held accountable to the standards that they have set. They now have the ‘I.T capital’ needed to move forward… Many projects get started in Africa with the funding of donors but end up wasted and never yield the results.
Will Makerere set a new standard and fully utilise the ‘I.T Capital’ given to them or will it go to waste as other projects in Africa? Two years from now, what will Makerere CIT offer in reports in regard to how they have been able to help provide solutions Uganda’s nuemrous problems ranging from poverty to disaeses? We hope that the Makerere CIT center does not just become another ‘Kampala Internet Cafe’…