By Aloysious Kasoma
“It is with profound shock and sadness that we announce that James Saaka, our former ED, has passed away. We extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to James’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this most difficult time. Rest In Power, James.”
A Tweet from National Information Technology Authority announced on Wednesday, 9th Decemebr 2020.
Saaka, the Outgoing Executive Director of NITA-U has today (9th Dec) passed on. James had recently retired in August after being at the helm of NITA for a decade is suspected to have succumbed to Covid-19.
“It’s painful and sad for James. I am sad! My sincere condolences to his family, friends in the ICT sector and NITA Uganda,” said Frank Tumwebaze who once supervised Saaka as minister of Information, ICT and Communications.
Saaka retired from NITA-U in August this year after a 10-year stint.
During his tenure, Government completed all four phases of the National Backbone infrastructure (ICT backbone), laying 4,000 kilometers of Fiber, extending to 49 districts and connecting 480 Government offices. The recently launched last mile project will connect 1,000 more sites across 58 districts to the network is underway. The seven major border posts of Uganda with its neighboring countries have all been connected to the ICT backbone thus facilitating regional integration, cooperation, communication, and trade with our neighboring countries.
In the last 10 years, NITA-U has created an enabling environment for ICT to flourish by ensuring that the right laws, regulations and Policies are in place. These include the Electronic Signatures Act, The Electronic Transactions Act & the Data Protection & Privacy Act. In addition, Government put in place the Certification Framework to ensure improved quality of IT products and services, ensure consumer/client protection, and standards applicable to the IT industry. 305 IT firms have been certified and over 2,000 firms have been registered for IT certification.