There are individuals that will quickly come to your mind in this country whenever digital and social media marketing come up as a topic. They have shaped their lives and careers around the subject and made it their source of income and livelihood.
Mathias Ssemanda, the Head of Digital at the oldest university in the country is one such person. For the time he has been on the job at the institution, he has revolutionized Makerere University and set it on a path where as things stand, the sky cannot even be the limit.
He acknowledges that digital literacy levels are still low in Uganda but hinted that efforts by the government and private sector players, especially telecom companies have in the recent years enabled a positive shift.
“The introduction of ICT and computer studies in our O and A level education system has helped us build initial capacity and this makes work easy for private players who come in to support government” Ssemanda says.
“If Uganda is to transform and reap big from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we must make heavy investments in equipping our universities with research facilities to handle issues in that area” he adds, noting that the sector is still facing challenges of financing and resource allocation.
With his contribution, the university right now hosts two major Artificial Intelligence centres which are funded and equipped through partners like Google at the Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Lab- Research Group (www.air.ug) hosted by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) and the Hi-Tech Bioinformatics Center housed at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI).
He however affirms optimism in Uganda’s future in the digital revolution.
“We just need to consolidate the achievements we have made as we also encourage more government spending on ICT infrastructure, as well as subsidising private players like telecom companies, ICT equipment importers and more research funding to universities in this area” he concluded.
His works in line with digital media are all over his social handles across most social media applications under the username @MathiasSsemanda. Load MTN Pulse bundles today by dialing *157# to connect with him and further this conversation.