The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi has reiterated the Government of Uganda’s commitment to inclusive and sustainable development through the transformative power of technology. Dr. Baryomunsi was speaking at the launch of the laptop distribution exercise for the Parish development Model (PDM), held on May 14, 2024 at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance offices, Parliament Avenue. The event marked a pivotal moment as the government unveiled its plan to digitize and streamline PDM activities across the country, with the distribution of 163 laptops in the first phase.

“The Parish Development Model stands as a testament to our collective vision for inclusive growth and sustainable development at the grassroots level,” remarked Minister Baryomunsi.

By empowering local government officials to monitor and manage PDM projects effectively, these laptops, earmarked for nationwide distribution, will facilitate Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and Town Clerks in ensuring transparent and accountable implementation of PDM initiatives while monitoring the programme’s progress.

“By equipping our local governments with these tools, we are not merely providing hardware; we are investing in capacity building, in bridging the digital divide, and in fostering a culture of excellence in public service delivery,” said Baryomunsi.

Raphael Magyezi, the Minister of Local Government, lauded the partnership between the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and his Ministry, highlighting the challenges faced by accounting officers in implementing PDM.

“We have been having a problem with data capture, and with these laptops, it should be easy for accounting officers to track the implementation of PDM and the disbursement of funds to the beneficiaries,” expressed Minister Magyezi.

According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde, the PDM programme has witnessed significant achievements since the launch of the Parish Development Model Information System (PDMIS) in the Bukedi region on February 26th, 2022.

“To date, PDMIS has registered 22.8 million Ugandans from 7.8 million households, facilitating the operation of 10,594 PDM Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations

(SACCOs) and 157,006 enterprise groups. This occasion represents the culmination of our endeavours to modernize and enhance the efficiency of the Parish Development Model (PDM) operations,” said Dr. Zawedde.

Dr. Zawedde noted that the distribution of laptops marks a new chapter in the PDM journey by promising to amplify the programme’s impact exponentially. Through digitizing PDM activities, the Ministry aims to revolutionize data collection, analysis, and decision-making processes, thus enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of development interventions.

However, Dr. Zawedde also emphasized the responsibility that comes with these resources, urging for their judicious and ethical use with a commitment to transparency, accountability, and integrity.

As Uganda embraces this digital revolution, the government reiterates its commitment to harnessing technology as a force for good, empowering communities, fostering innovation, and building a brighter future for all Ugandans.