The state of ICT in Uganda: A look at Digital Uganda Vision

23 May 2019

Research ICT Africa published a report on The state of information and communication technology (ICT) in Uganda with special focus on Digital Uganda Vision which provides a framework to uphold the national Vision 2040 through building a digital society that is “… secure, sustainable, innovative, transformative … to create a positive social and economic impact through technology-based empowerment.” However, for Vision 2040 to achieve its desired outcomes, the report pinpoints some policy interventions and lack of government coordination that threaten the effective implementation of the vision. According to the report, these include a) regressive social networking and mobile money taxes which broaden the income and digital inequality, b) low internet and mobile penetration due to poor ICT infrastructure, poverty, and digital literacy, c) lack of affordability of data and devices for the majority of Ugandans, d) telecommunication market concentration particularly outside Urban areas where there is duopoly, e) demand stimulation to encourage people to shift from passive consumption to productive use of ICT, f) lack of cost-effective strategies to support mobile money for the unbacked, and g) lower cost access and use models to promote dynamic spectrum use in rural areas.

Explore the issues

The impact of the Internet on businesses and the global economy has been crucial in shaping new economic models, and at the same time, raising new concerns.

The Internet is one of the primary drivers of economic growth, which is visible in many countries that have placed the development of ICT as one of the primary tools for boosting the economy.

The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.

Capacity development is often defined as the improvement of knowledge, skills and institutions to make effective use of resources and opportunities. Widespread on the agenda of international development agencies, capacity development programs range from societal to individual level and include a diversity of strategies, from fundraising to targeted training.

The telecommunications infrastructure is a physical medium through which all Internet traffic flows.

Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).

 

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