An information support system for industrial development in Uganda with special reference to the small-scale sector: a proposal
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The role of information in the scientific, technical and socio-economic development of nations is becoming widely accepted. In what has come to be referred to as the “information age”, a larger percentage of people in the developed world are now employed in the information sector and the same trend is perceptible in the industrializing economies as well. In Uganda, the future of the country lies in the rejuvenation of the industrial sector, which presently, accounts for less than 5 percent of the GDP. More than 80 percent of the manufacturing sector in Uganda is comprised of small scale enterprises. The problems faced by the SSIs are numerous and diverse. However, a critical analysis of these problems reveals that they all have a bearing to the information situation in the country, which presently remains grossly ill-developed. Twice the government of Uganda, assisted by international agencies has tried to address the issue of industrial information in the country. These two attempts, however, proved futile, partially due to poor perception of information as a resource by planners, decision makers, manufacturers, etc. With the advent of information technology, the information component has gained new dimensions. Information technology (IT) is today an indispensable tool in the capture, storage, processing, analysis and dissemination of data and information in industries as well as in other organisations. IT application has transformed information systems and centres from mere custodians of information to a management tool of industries. Its impact is being felt in all sectors of the national economy, the manufacturing sector in particular. Information, industrialisation and economic development are a mutually synergising trinity. This thesis discusses the relevancy of information systems and centres in industrialisation from Uganda's point of view. It proposes the need to develop a national scientific, technical and industrial information centre (NSTIIC). It is proposed that among other things, NSTIIC should aim at bringing together in a network of database system, all institutions, organisations etc., whose activities and functions are contributory to the growth of the industrial sector in Uganda. It also advocates for a serious campaign to sensitise planners, decision makers, manufactures and all those involved in guiding the national economy, big or small, so as to help them develop an information culture in their day-to-day activities.