AFRICA AND BUGANDA IN THE DIGITAL AGE:

The Prime Minister of Uganda Mr Rugunda has listed measures to increase electric power generation in the country:

By Tom Brian Angurini

Posted  19 September, 2015

 

UGANDA,Kampala:

Government of Uganda has made significant investments in the energy sector to ensure reliable and affordable power supply to all sectors of the economy.

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, made the remark while opening an energy management symposium in Kampala this week.

“Government has taken a number of measures aimed at benefiting the consumers of electricity through reduced power tariffs and expanding coverage of modern energy supplies in the medium term,” he said

He said some of the measures include increasing power generation capacity, expanding the power transmission and distribution network, development of renewable energy sources to supply decentralized grid networks, reducing power losses and increasing access to power through rural electrification programmes.

Mr Rugunda said the 600-megawatt Karuma venture is one of the major power generation projects in the country whose construction started in August 2013. It is expected to be commissioned in December 2018.

He also cited the 183-megawatt hydropower project at Isimba dam which is also under construction and is expected to be operational by end of 2016 or early 2017.

He said construction of the 840-megawatt Ayago hydropower project, whose feasibility study is under review, will begin as soon as funds are secured.

The Prime Minister cited other power projects as Muzizi (44mw) and Agago (83mw).

Mr Selestino Babungi, the managing director of UMEME, said: “Our plan is to invest $1.5 billion in distribution in the next five years to lower power costs because of Karuma and Isimba hydropower plants coming on board.”

He said revenue collection improved from 80 percent in 2005 to 100.4 by 2014 and Umeme is now a model on the continent where other African countries have come to study its mode of operation.

tangurini@ug.nationmedia.com

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A poor country exporting electricity power it generates for its industrial upgrade is doing it at its own peril.

 

 

 

The Government of Uganda has accepted the advanced technology of the Wide World Websites(www). The service of the internet in Kampala is now unlimited and free for the public:

 
 
 

The Kalangala Infrastructure Services hybrid thermal plant
Photo Credit: Power Africa
30 September, 2021

By Benjamin Jumbe

UGANDA, KAMPALA:

Kampala city dwellers are to start enjoying free internet access beginning tomorrow (Saturday).

The ministry of Information, ICT and Communication and the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA U) commence the trial run in Kampala’s central business district and parts of Entebbe.

Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the Information, ICT and Communication minister, who announced the development at Media Centre in Kampala, said: “We will be providing free Wi-Fi services between 6pm and 6 am on weekdays, and at the weekends. Wi-Fi will be free from Saturday 3pm through to Monday 6 am.” Mr Tumwebaze added.

He said free Wi-Fi services will be offered at the Kampala Capital City Authority Street Carnival on Sunday where revellers will enjoy the service throughout the day.

“Internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all Ugandan citizens. The ICT sector must remain at the centre of this countrywide transformation, and steering Uganda to world class efficiency and productivity” Mr Tumwebaze said.

He said the roll out of free internet has been made possible because of investment in the National bBckbone Infrastructure (NBI )whose 3rd phase is nearing completion.

The minister says rolling out NBI has helped government agencies increase productivity, efficiency and reduced costs of internet bandwidth.

“Internet costs have reduced from USD1200 to USD 300 per megabit per second per month in 2010 and 2016 respectively,” Mr Tumwebaze said.

Meanwhile, Dr James Saka, the executive director NITA U, said since the service would be shared between government agencies and the public, and the capacity provided will be up to 2 megabits per second.

He said there would be restrictions to downloading videos, and access to bad site.

bjumbe@ug.nationmedia.com

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More like emphasising a human right that the rich have got to communicate with the poor.

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NITA-U head James Saaka said that they have seen the benefits of rolling out the National Data Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) in terms of increased productivity, efficiency and reduced costs of internet bandwidth.

Saaka said that they have taken steps to ensure that the network is safe.

“Because it is shared, everyone will get a maximum of 2 megabytes not for everything. There are restrictions to that internet. You won’t be able to download videos. You won’t have access to those bad sites,”said Saaka.

In addition, to acces the free WiFi in Kampala one has to register – phone number, username, email.

 

The Government of Uganda 's policy of raising internet taxes any how has made the only available modern digital communication technology, unaffordable:

The national and International business communities in the country are feeling the financial pain:

Network and Server

 

25 October, 2019

 

Franklin Draku

While opening the annual ICT sector review in Kampala yesterday, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, said while the telecom operators boast about the reduced mobile internet costs, Ugandans using the services for business are paying heavily.
“Institutions of business don’t do business on mobile data. Mobile data is for personal communication, but offices, hotels and other institutions have dedicated internet and yet are the most expensive ones,” Mr Tumwebaze said.

“People pay for 3mbps, a month, so we want to bring that down. Why should I pay a million for utility? If water or electricity was to be that expensive, how many people would afford [the services]? These services have become basic requirements of life and basic requirements of production,” he added.
Different service providers have different rates for business internet solutions.

Business internet costs
While we were unable to obtain rates for other telecom operators in the country, at MTN Uganda, the lowest cost for Lite package goes for Shs290,000 with an installation fee of Shs250,000 at speeds of up to 512Kbps, while the Standard package costs Shs422,500 monthly with an installation charge of Shs250,000 at the speed of up to 1Mbps.

This facility can be used for e-mail, web surfing, uploads, downloads, music and video streaming, internet calls and online banking for up to two to four users.
The last option is the Premium package, with speed up to 2Mbps at Shs602,500 per month and an installation fee of Shs250, 000.
Mr Tumwebaze urged the service providers to lower the costs.

“Internet is one of the cost push factors and this one we are very serious about it and we want to see it come down immediately,” he said.
The minister also tasked the telecom operators to share facilities to cut operation costs.
Mr VG Somasekhar, the managing director of Airtel Uganda, said high taxes imposed on data determine the internet costs.

“We request government to review the taxes. We end up paying up to 30 per cent and with that, we cannot lower the costs yet we are already offering very cheap internet costs compared to the taxes charged,” he said.

Mr Wim Vanhelleputte, the chief executive officer of MTN Uganda, said the cost of delivering mobile data to customers is higher than the costs users pay to access the internet.

He said as operators, they bear the cost of operations, which if shifted to the users, would discourage them from using internet services.

fdraku@ug.nationmedia.com