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Harvard Graduate heads Uganda ICT ministry PDF Print E-mail

By Esther Nakkazi

Mr. Aggrey Awori the new ICT minister is a hurdler, sprinter and sportsman.  The Harvard Graduate, a non-techie described himself as playing a ‘more hands off eyes on’ role at the ICT ministry.

Most young readers will remember him as a 2001 presidential candidate who stood on the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) ticket and lost. But the former diplomat has since moved on to join the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and for the first time in his political manoeuvres sits on the government side in parliament.

The Information Communication Technology (ICT) community in Uganda will be happy to know that Awori is a former journalist who hosted the first live question and answer call in programme ‘topic for discussion’ on Uganda television in 1969. This was after being appointed the first local director of UTV in 1967.  

“This industry has come out of the clutches of government. The evolution of the communication sector has been a tremendous change. Although many people complain that it has too much freedom, it is a key factor in development,” he said of the communication industry.

About his character Awori says, ‘I never hide anything from anyone. I usually throw it at you and then you answer for yourself. It does not matter where, if I meet you in a lift I will put it to you.’

As a hurdler and sprinter he is interested to know how fast he can move to accomplish things that is why he is anxious to pass the three pending ICT Bills and put them out of the way (see related story in this newsletter, “computer abusers and mis-users face stiff prison sentences” by David Musoke). 

A former intelligence officer and leader of a rebel group in eastern Uganda, he is in support of the phone-tapping bill, which he thinks will bring sanity in the communication sector and says it is only in the interest of Uganda’s national security. 

He concluded that since he has been on either side of the coin, in the opposition now government, as a journalist now a content consumer he has a better view of issues and is looking forward to serving Ugandans.

Born in 1939, Awori is married to Thelma Awori. He is the 10th of 17 children born in the village of Budimu, a border town between Uganda and Kenya. 

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