The North Korean National IT Industry Planning Agency (NIPA) is entering a partnership with Uganda’s National Information Technology Authority (NITA) in which the latter will support to former to develop a national Information Technology Strategic Plan for the country.
NIPA is South Korea lead agency for IT responsible for strategic planning, IT industrial growth, SW competitiveness, IT convergence and application, among others. As a strategic planning nerve for IT in the Asian Industrial giant, NIPA is responsible for development of the country’s methodical and focused long term IT development strategy. It is also responsible development of IT capability in the public sector for customized information required for government policy-making as well as for information needed to support the private sector in that country to improve business performance and commerce.
As far as IT fusion and convergence is concerned NIPA is responsible for improving competitiveness of Small & medium enterprises. NIPA supports these businesses through ensuring quality IT manpower and funding.
It is hoped that through this partnership, NIPA will support NITA to develop its own capacity in the areas of strategic planning for the IT sector in the country, undertaking standards and performance management for some time.
Through this partnership, NIPA will offer technical assistance to NITA to develop a comprehensive ICT Master Plan for Uganda covering and integrating all sectors of the economy-a key plan guiding the sector that the country is currently working without-something akin to sailing in the night without a compass.
In mid-June (2012), a team of 9 people led by NIPA’s Vice President Hyun Seek Lee was in the country to begin preparations to provide technical assistance to NITA on e-government road map and master plan.
On arrival in Uganda, the Koreans observed that new comers to IT like Uganda have the opportunity to start their IT infrastructure on a clean slate as they do not have the backlog of old technologies to get rid of/replace like older players in IT. For Uganda to benefit from this advantage, it is important for the departments responsible for this sector to ensure that proper plans are made and that technologies deployed are not compromised by corruption.
South Korea is always compared with Uganda in the 1950. 60 years down the road South Korea is an industrial giant and a developed country, yet Uganda remains a poor country. Ugandans hope that as the NITA Board chairman Dr. Francis F. Tusubira said in the meeting with the Koreans, “NITA would like to see the same transformation that happened in South Korea in Uganda as well.”