UPPC to Digitize National Archive, Revive Printing School as it marks 120 years

Mr. Oluka also revealed UPPC’s plans to revive a printing school are in the advanced stage—revealing that it would reopen its doors to students by 2023.

Mr. Kenneth Oluka, the Corporation’s Acting Managing Director (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Uganda Publishing and Printing Corporation (UPPC) has announced plans of digitizing the vast amount of information and documents into a national digital archive.

This was revealed by Mr. Kenneth Oluka, the Corporation’s acting Managing Director during the launch of activities to mark 120 years of distinguished printing and publishing services to Uganda.
The launch took place at Golf Course Hotel, Kampala.

UPPC, one of Uganda’s oldest institutions, was started by the colonial government in 1902 and lived through the decades serving the government as the official printer.
The 120-year-old body is home to priceless articles of Ugandan history such as decrees passed by President Idi Amin, directives by the colonial government, national budgets, government white papers among others.

UPCC Officials and guests pose for a group photo after the function held at Gold Course Hotel on Friday, July 22

Mr. Oluka revealed that the digital revolution is aimed at reviving the vast amount of information UPCC holds and making it more easily accessible to everyone.

“To preserve this history better and make it more easily accessible, we are in the process of digitizing the vast amount of information and documents in our stores. We want to build a national archive. We are also expanding our national reach by opening outlets in the regions”, Mr. Oluka said.

As part of the 120 years celebrations, UPPC plans to hold several activities including; publishing a souvenir Magazine (The Printer), a walk, exhibitions, hosting technical institutions students and acquainting them with printing technologies – equipment and machinery.

Mr. Oluka also revealed UPPC’s plans to revive a printing school are in the advanced stage—revealing that it would reopen its doors to students by 2023.

“We are also strengthening our partnerships with the law training institutions. We plan to visit law schools and make some contributions in form of legal documents,” he said, also requesting to have a special session in parliament to recognise the work of the Government Printer over the years.

“In as far as laws are concerned, the Parliament and the Ministry of Justice and its agencies are our biggest partners. We recognise the partnerships with the First Parliamentary Counsel, Law Reform Commission and the Judiciary.”

The two-month-long celebrations will be happening between July and September this year.

UPPC prints and publishes all government laws and public legal notices in the weekly government newspaper, The Gazette. It also serves government ministries, departments, and agencies and the president recently made a directive that all government institutions should offer at least 40% of their printing business to UPPC.

Speaking at the same event, the Minister for Presidency, the Permanent Secretary of the Office of the President, Haji Yunus Kakande who represented the Minister for Presidency, Milly Babalanda said the 120-year celebrations should be used as a turning point for the institution to showcase what it is doing, what it is capable of producing and how it is structured to offer the best service to all categories of clients in the market.

“The celebrations are very timely, coming at the time when UPPC has just acquired very powerful and versatile equipment in form of the 4-color printing machine and with plans to acquire the 5-color machine. Other old machinery has been repaired or generally replaced. For this I thank the current leadership at the UPPC for solving most of the challenges that we had here.”

Haji Yunus Kakande, the Permanent Secretary Office of the President speaking at the event

He added: “As a result, this machinery has propelled the UPPC into a world-class printery capable of handling any volume of work and yet maintaining the highest quality of outputs possible on the market.”

Whereas UPPC brought itself to the highest standard possible in the printer industry, Kakande said the potential clientele of the UPPC has been slow to respond to the Presidential directive that requires all the MDAs in Uganda to surrender all their printing jobs to the UPPC and the New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation.

“If the above directive was complied with, the UPPC revenues would be quite high and its subsequent contribution to the National Coffers would be handsome.To support the UPPC is to support the growth of the country; It is to curtal hemorrhage of foreign exchange through external printing by individuals and local companies; and it is to eventually develop critical infrastructures such as dams, roads, railways and schools and bring down the costs of public services,” he said.

He also appealed to the Managers of the MDAs and the Private Sector to consider partnering with the UPPC—noting that” we now offer a standard, quick and competitive output, probably unmatched in the industry.”

UPPC and Vision Group are both government-owned agencies with majority shares.

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