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) Private e-Government Initiatives



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6) Private e-Government Initiatives


Most of the initiatives from the private sector are based on the mobile phone, considering that Uganda has a higher mobile phone penetration than computer/internet penetration. The initiatives include:

a) Payment of utility bills using mobile phones

b) Money transfers using mobile phones

c) Payment of school fees using mobile phones

d) Checking of commodity prices using mobile phones

e) E-banking and mobile banking


7) Future envisaged applications


a) e-Procurement

b) e-Document sharing in government

c) Electronic passport processing

d) e-Health and mobile health especially for rural areas

e) e-Education between urban and rural areas

8) Challenges


f) Cyber crime and cyber terrorism

g) Undefined cross-border jurisdiction for cyber litigation

h) Reliance on imported hardware and software

i) Reliance on foreign funding

j) Un-harmonised ICT Policies and Strategies

k) Inadequate Infrastructure

l) Adverse cultural beliefs and languages

m) Inadequate funding for ICT Projects

n) Inadequate human resources

o) Inadequate Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) frameworks


Case 7:Uganda’s Approach to Implementing Broadband Connectivity in Underserved Areas (Uganda)

1) Introduction


Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) established the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) to stimulate provision of telecommunications services in the rural and underserved areas. The RCDF is therefore acts as a mechanism for leveraging investments in communications infrastructure and services in rural underserved areas of the country.

This was recognition of the fact that although the sector had been liberalized and opened to competition some parts of the country which were non-commercially viable would not attract private capital for investment in infrastructure and services. The RCDF main objectives include to provide access to basic communication services within a reasonable distance; ensure effective investment in rural communications development and to promote ICT usage in Uganda.


2) Uganda’s universal access policy framework


Uganda’s Universal Access Policy (2010) is developed within the premise of the global development agenda, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to which Uganda is one of the signatories; and its country-specific National Development Plan (2010) that was originally linked to the national vision called Vision 2025. The policy is also developed building on the previous universal access policy (2001) and within the framework of Uganda’s ICT policy and telecommunications policy.

a. Objective

One of the main reasons why the Internet has not spread to the rural areas are the cost of access, insufficient bandwidth and power issues and more important for the rural communities, illiteracy and the absence of relevant local content in vernacular. The new policy therefore has the main objective of ensuring provision of broadband connectivity and supporting the development of local content.

However, the main impediment for the ICT sector in Uganda today is the lack of broadband infrastructure network meant to accelerate access and use of the Internet in particular and ICTs in general. This is especially because of the heavy capital requirements that cannot be left to the private sector alone and thus requiring special intervention from government.

b. Broadband policy implementation

Uganda government has embarked on supporting the interconnection of all higher local governments’ capitals and major towns with a national data backbone infrastructure so as to enable provision of wide array cost effective ICT services to the users. This expected to facilitate the establishment of institutional data access points with initial focus on vocational, tertiary and secondary educational institutions, and government health units for levels IV and III.

Broadband connectivity will be provided for selected sub-counties to connect to the high speed National Backbone Infrastructure. The connection is considered as a ‘last mile’ solution for the sub-counties. To this end, a detailed study to determine the most cost effective technological solutions (wireless, cable) that could be implemented for each location is underway.

Additionally, the study will help in identifying the districts that will not be covered by the national backbone infrastructure. The backhaul links will then be deployed to link such sub-counties to the identified districts. The initial proposal is to outsource the design and implementation of the proposed access network to competent telecommunications service providers.

The project once implemented is intended at lowering the price of bandwidth paid by the consumers while providing high quality and a wide variety of broadband services. The project will also entail providing computers and capacity building or training programmes to the end users such as schools, health centres and local governments.

3) Expected benefits


a. E-government: The project will help in collecting information from lower local governments upwards to the central government. The information will be part and parcel of the national demographics and other socio-economic related statistics.

b. E-education: The project will facilitate e-learning and already this is gaining popularity in the country. For example major local universities are having satellite campuses in upcountry locations in which long distance and online education are now being offered.

c. E-health: The project will facilitate data and voice flow from the rural communities to the health centre onwards to the district hospitals and regional referral hospitals and finally to the national referral hospital. The reverse flow will happen. Additional traffic is expected between the Ministry of Health head office and the district offices and also between the ministry and the health centres.




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