Over the past two decades, Uganda’s education system has taken big leaps in grooming IT experts for the inevitably growing IT industry. Web design, one of the fields in IT has been on the O Level syllabus since the early 2000s. So, as the need for online presence grows, the market for web designers and hosting companies has also grown.
Presently, Uganda is blessed with a huge community of web designers some of whom even own web hosting platforms for the growing clientele. Much as good service providers are out there, clients are facing it rough in reality. Getting a good web designer and host is an uphill task for clients, not because there aren’t any good companies to do the work but because they land on the wrong people.
It was for this reason that Mukalele Rogers and Dumba Stephen both teachers by profession and active members of the ICT Teachers Association of Uganda teamed up to start eZone Web Services, a company determined to fill this gap. For 2 months, the duo worked behind the scenes first by analysing the challenges clients were facing and then concentrating on building a robust solution to meet the needs.
On the 10th of August 2019, at the monthly WordPress Kampala meetup, the pair were joined by experienced members of the WordPress community to launch their company. The launch was preceded by a presentation by Mukalele Rogers on how to automate a web hosting business before getting hints from Lawrence Buhirwa who offered the often ignored financial guidelines to be considered when you start such a business.
Mukalele Rogers the CTO of the company is an experienced web designer and the National Cordinator for the ICT Teachers’ Association of Uganda. Of late, he has been popularizing Microsoft Expression Web as an alternative to Office 2007 as a website design software for O Level students. He is also a beneficiary at the Makerere Innovation and Incubation Center at Makerere University where startups are nurtured in 21st century business skills. He brings with him a wealth of experience from Centre for Web Presence where he has been the systems administrator.
Dumba Stephen, the Managing Director is a time tested teacher of ICT and also the coordinator the ICT Teachers Association of Uganda in the Central region. A tech survy gentleman who freelances as a Computer Technician, he shares his knowledge and skills at E-zone School of Computing. He comes with a wealth of experience in the small business world from Ezone Internet Café and Ezone School of Computing.
One of the problems eZone Web Services intends to solve is the provision of an online platform where people can try out their web design skills with free space and domains. This would be particularly helpful for web design students and amatuers who need a practically live site for demonstrations. Mukalele Rogers pointed out that eZone Web Services would give out up to 200MB of free disk space to students and testers.
Dumba Stephen also pointed out that eZone School of Computing would offer free web design classes over weekends so that owners of websites get the basics that would help them manage their own sites. This would save them from unscrupulous web designers who take advantage of clients’ lack of knowledge in web design. This would also help small business owners be introduced to web technologies and therefore creating more demand for hosting services.