The National ICT Initiatives Support Programme (NIISP) aims to facilitate the creation of a digital ecosystem and marketplace for exposing innovative digital products. The private sector has largely led growth of the ICT sector in Uganda with minimal GoU planning and support. Unfortunately, the market-driven approach has created standalone and closed software applications that have not promoted innovation at a national level. The NIISP will tackle bottlenecks to creating a digital ecosystem by promoting the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to create an open ecosystem in Uganda than enables the GoU, enterprises and individuals to innovate fast and reach new markets. Given the importance of the ICT Sector in the NDP II, the NIISP shall:
- Encourage innovation by providing ICT graduates an opportunity to use GoU data to create applications for Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Local Governments;
- Aim to generate highly skilled jobs and wealth for the small companies that generate applications using either GoU data or other information in the emerging ecosystem;
- Help improve data gathering by allowing data to flow into GoU from third parties; and
- Encourage transparency by using APIs to expand the number of people who have access to Government data.
Rather than enforcing closed private networks, the NIISP will champion the creation of APIs that internal and external users can find valuable enough to pay for. The APIs must enable the secure delivery of digital products and services on a range of platforms such as on-premises IT infrastructure assets, cloud, mobile and social media application. The NIISP will focus on encouraging the creation of easy to consume digital products.