James Kizza, Assistant Commissioner Information Technology at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), was declared winner of the East Africa CIO of the Year Award 2019.
The colorful ceremony took place at Naivasha Resort, Kenya last week.
According to the judges, the role of the chief information officer (CIO) continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, and only those executives who advance in lockstep will enjoy prolonged success and better the enterprises that they dedicate their energies to serve.
The 2019 East Africa CIO100 jury was led by Professor Louis Fourie, former Vice Chancellor at the Western Cape Peninsula University of Technology and flanked by, Alex Ntale CEO – Rwanda ICT Chamber, Bill Sangiwa, Digital Transformation Expert in Tanzania, Charles Musisi, a senior ICT Expert in Uganda and Elizabeth Ochieng, ICT Director, Deloitte and Touche.
Realizing that incremental steps from sheer deployment of IT are insufficient in the present-day economy, Ochien’g lauded Kizza’s achievement in speaking on behalf of the jurists who in their appraisal described this year’s CIO of Year winner as a passionate talent inspired to uphold the momentum of change in the dynamic digital space.
Upon receiving the prestigious award from Joe Mucheru, Kenya’s ICT Cabinet Secretary, Kizza said it was a sweet victory although it took a long walk considering that he has spent 26 years in public service.
Mucheru lauded Kizza’s win and noted that governments across the region are opening up for ICT collaboration with a clear focus to serve citizens better and hasten the growth of investments in this era of digital transformation.
“Kizza has been resilient and has over the years risked his neck for total digital modernization, so that the Uganda Revenue Authority can competitively serve the citizens of Uganda and by extension the East African community,” said the jurists.
Kizza, who was nominated by a number of industry players, was given a thumbs-up by a five-bench panel of CIO-100 jurists who accorded him top score of the qualitative and quantitative work demonstrated in the intensive of change.
‘We chose to celebrate the leadership demonstrated by Kizza since he does not make any distinction between IT, technology and business and has proven that he realizes this region’s digital future depends with what one passionately does today,’ said Musisi a member of CIO100 adjudication panel from Uganda.
Currently, digitalization in URA stands at close to 96 percent of the business and the digital filing of returns stands at 100 percent, said Kizza, stressing that without IT the Authority would have no business”.
“I am glad that all major interventions today rely on IT and each year government relies on URA to extend the Tax to GDP ratio and adds an annual increment to our target, which the authority achieves owing to effective and successful deployment of technology to enable delivery efficient services.