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A Year in Review: From ADF Attacks to Digital Transformation

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By Ivan Kaahwa and Hason Mutunzi Bwambale

In a year marked by both challenges and triumphs, Uganda has witnessed significant events that shaped the nation’s trajectory. The year involved a brutal attack on a secondary school in Mpondwe on June 16, 2023, perpetrated by a pocket of ADF terrorists recently forced to retreat from the jungles of Congo. The same group was linked to the October 2023 massacre of honeymooners David and Emmaretia Barlow and their Ugandan guide, Eric Alyai.

However, the Ugandan government, under the leadership of President Museveni, demonstrated resilience and determination in combating terrorism. The successful three-year joint operation with the Armed Forces of the DRC, codenamed Operation Shujaa, marked a turning point in the fight against ADF.

Minister of State for National Guidance Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku says that, in November 2023, special units of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces tracked and captured the head of the terrorist unit responsible for the heinous murders, signaling a significant victory.

As security remains paramount for the implementation of government programs, the commitment to pacify the country of all terrorist militias persists. Recent attacks, such as the one in Kamwenge, underscore the ongoing efforts to eliminate the ADF threat both within Uganda and in the DRC.

Transitioning from security concerns to broader national development, Uganda finds itself at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) – the Digital Age. The Ministry of ICT&NG launched the Digital Transformation Roadmap, envisioning a comprehensive shift in agriculture, financial inclusion, education, healthcare, and overall governance. This ambitious roadmap positions Uganda to embrace the opportunities presented by the digital era.

Acknowledging that solid ideological grounding is essential for successful governance, the government, through the Ministry of ICT&NG, has embarked on interventions to address ideological disorientation. Kabbyanga says that resources targeted at mindset change have been secured, with plans to collaborate with state departments, including Patriotism clubs and Wildlife clubs, to deepen ideological understanding among the younger and middle-aged populations.

In the spirit of gratitude and optimism, as the Christmas season unfolds, the Minister of State for National Guidance extends heartfelt wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2024. The nation reflects on the year’s challenges and successes, looking forward to an exciting future driven by digital transformation and ideological clarity.

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