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Recently, yesterday Uganda’s ministers and ICT stake holders were having Cyber security meeting in order to discuss you about the process of embracing online transactions and communications for more efficient services delivery especially for business and e-commerce, and various ICT solutions like business process outsourcing (BPO) models, e-commerce, mobile commerce (m-commerce), e-procurement, e-banking among others without any legal hindrance.
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In a bid to promote expansive application and utilisation of online delivery of services and sharing of information across government, through e Government, in 2011 Cabinet passed three (3) cyber laws, namely Electronic Transactions Act, the Electronic Signature Act and Computer Misuse Act.
Following the enactment of the Cyber laws (E-Transactions Act, E-Signatures Act and the Computer Misuse Act), the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT) together with the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) embarked on, among others, the process of developing regulations to operationalize these Laws.
Technical staff from Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MoJCA) and the Uganda Law Reform Commission assisted in drafting the Regulations for the E-Transactions Act. The Computer Misuse Act did not require any Regulations because; by its nature it is a penal law.
Owing to the strong positive role that ICTs plays towards trade promotion and industrial development, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) under the Economic Partnership Agreement Related Trade and Private Sector Support Programme (EPA TAPSS), offered financial support for consultancy services to develop draft Regulations for the E-Signatures Act as well as the NITA -U Act.
ICTs link the entire globe through better and faster (digital) communications networks thereby rendering ‘time’ and ‘distance’ irrelevant. As a result, globally, companies have devised business models that capitalize on these global communication networks. Citizens will be able to enjoy the efficiency and cost effectiveness derived from utilising various ICT solutions like business process outsourcing (BPO) models, e-commerce, mobile commerce (m-commerce), e-procurement, e-banking etc. without any legal hindrance.
‘It is not enough to pass a policy or enact a law; the regulations are needed to prescribe the details of implementation of the law (Act)’ Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda the Minister for ICT said at the opening of the consultative workshop at Imperial Royale Hotel yesterday morning.
The regulations under review, will impact on a cross-section of stakeholders and a great number of enterprises. The workshop's objective was to consult and to obtain stakeholders views and recommendations on the draft regulations which will be incorporated into the final draft regulations sent to the Solicitor General for final approval.
Government’s commitment to enabling e-commerce was reiterated in this year’s budget speech (2012/2013). Improving business efficiency and making it easier and faster for businesses to access government services is one of the strategies to lower the costs of doing business and marshal private sector investment in Uganda. Further the use of e commerce opens up the country to a wider market that transcends borders as Ugandans will be able to transact with associates all over the world without the need to leave the country.
In her key note address, Hon Amelia Kyambade, the Minister for Trade and Investment concluded, “We therefore implore you to support this process and embrace online transactions and communications for more efficient services delivery especially for business and e-commerce.’’
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PO.BOX 1, KYAMBOGO
UNIVERSITY, Kampala Uganda