Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is briefing journalists at her official Ganabhaban residence on Monday, following her four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.Awami League president, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday expressed determination with confidence to smoothly hold the next parlimentary polls within due time despite confusions or what she termed conspiracies.“There will be conspiracies, but we will be able to overcome those. I believe in elections. The election commission will announce the polls schedule,” Hasina told a media briefing at her official Ganabhaban residence, following her four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.At a rally on Saturday, Jatiya Party (JaPa) chairman HM Ershad, also the prime minsiter’s special emissary, expressed apprehensions over holding of the 11th parliamentary elections due later this year.When asked about such ‘uncertaintity’, Sheikh Hasina alleged, a section of people has been ‘hatching conspiracies and creating suspisions’ to hamper continuity of the democratic process.“The Awami League (AL) will move ahead despite obstacles and puruse development. My party has the strength to face the oppostion,” she said.About forging of the Jatiya Oikya Front or National Unity Front, led by noted lawyer Kamal Hossain, the prime minister claimed that her party is not concerned about the emergence of the new coalition.“I welcome the initiative. There is a necessity and they have been united. If they gain success, what’s wrong,” she told journalists, however, adding, “I don’t see any good politics in it.”On 13 October, the Oikya Front came into being, raising demand for holding free and fair elections, promising change in political culture. Bangladesh Natonalist Party is a major force in it.“We have to see who are united there. They are from different parties with different backgrounds. They are the corrupt, creators of militancy and money launderers. They are also convicted in the 21 grenade attack and 10 truck arms smugglling incidents,” Hasina said alleging that Kamal Hossain formed unity with these forces.“It’s important how the people of Bangladesh view them,” the AL president said. “I have nothing to say [about them]. If the people of Bangladesh want them, let them want,” she added.Asked if the ruling camp would invite the opposition to dialoue if the Front leaders seek it, Sheikh Hasina said, “Any mindset is yet to be created as I have not still received any letter [of request from them].”About splitting of political parties and alliances, Hasina said where there is a breach, there is reunification. “[We’ve] nothing to worry about.”Dwelling on a seven-point demand including a fair election under a neutral administration, raised by the new coalition, the prime minister said, “Let me wait and see how many demands they come up with ultimately.”On the opposition’s announcement to launch movement to realise their demands, Sheikh Hasina said the government would “do everything if any quarter wants to carry out arson attacks and kill people”.In reply to a few questions on former caretaker government adviser Mainul Hosein, Sheikh Hasina cricticised him for his remaks on journalist Masuda Vatti at a TV talk-show.
Advertisement In the Ministerial Policy Statement for FY 2014/15 Uganda’s ICT sector share in 2014 stood at 6.0% and employed over one million people. World Bank data placed exports of ICT services in 2013 at 400 million USD, forming 17% of total service exports. IT services alone were estimated to represent 2.8% of Uganda’s services exports, with a total value of US $2 billion in 2012. These statistics prompted several initiatives of an investment & developmental nature in the ICT sector from players both local and international.One such initiative being an Export Sector Competitiveness Program called the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF III), a program funded by the Dutch government, particularly, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI, affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The program was established to build export sector competitiveness in key growth sectors in the 4 beneficiary countries of Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar and Uganda. NTF III is being implemented over three years 2014-2017) and one of its key functions is to put in place an Export Plan, see to its roll-out and implementation in the ICT sector in Uganda.Under the general supervision of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) together with the NFT III project team, with support from the ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU) and Uganda Business Process Outsourcing Association (UBPOA), have developed and validated an “IT & ITES Export sector plan” to be launched on the 7th of April, 2016 and rolled out immediately, first to about thirty (30) Small and Medium Enterprise players in the ICT sector and eventually to the rest of the country. – Advertisement – The” IT & ITES Export Sector Plan” The “IT & ITES Sector Export Plan”, is the presentation of measures that have been identified to enhance the export competitiveness of the Ugandan IT & ITES companies in international markets, whether regionally or globally. In support to the proposed measures, a “Country Marketing Plan” has been developed to be implemented alongside the Export plan, which will identify the relevant marketing communication components that need to be activated to enhance the visibility of Uganda’s IT & ITES industry.The IT & ITES Export plan will focus on the following five broad strategic objectives to be pursued in order to achieve a successful export drive:Enhancing the caliber of the young talent IT & ITES pool.Closing the gender gap.Instigating a local environment conducive to the IT & ITES industry.Developing the export capabilities of SMEs.Placing Uganda’s IT & ITES industry on the map.Identifying target markets.Richard Okuti, National Consultant – NTF III Uganda remarked that “this plan will focus on IT & ITES business initiatives with a potential for exports that can be enhanced through targeted measures and will take into consideration the fact that the Ugandan IT & ITES industry’s existence lacks recognition amongst target customers beyond the borders of the country.”This plan takes into account the specific circumstances of the Ugandan IT & ITES industry, which cannot rely on a thriving local economy to stimulate its growth, ensuring the emergence of local champions. In the absence of a local demand pull, a more prudent business development plan needs to be considered to assist Ugandan companies in their export endeavors.IT & ITES: The difference? IT and ITES, are one and the same, having more in common than not. This is correct up to a point: the closer one gets to market considerations, the more dissimilar the two become.IT services. These require a broad range of specialized, technical skills typically acquired during studies at a university and are necessary, for example, to engage in designing software architectures, software coding or web design deploying cloud-based services.IT enabled services (ITES). These do not usually require specialized technical skills (with the exception of knowledge-based ITES, e.g. medical analysis applications). ITES services include Customer Support Services (e.g. call centres, Recruitment Process – RPO), Policy Maintenance/Management (e.g. human resource), Data Process Services (e.g. payroll outsourcing), and Technical Support Services (infrastructure management, help desk), to mention but a few.Why “IT & ITES Export Plan”? NTF III is simply helping a company whose founder(s) has detected a market need. He or she has the vision of how to satisfy that need, and believes the company has something unique to offer. It could be a service (for example, reserving your taxi through your smart phone), which involves developing the application and running the service, or an off-the-shelf software package (for example, a smart phone application capable of detecting certain diseases). These companies will be supported to take these solutions beyond our borders in this Export plan.