Ambassador Jerry Lanier
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Ugandans can use these sites to reach out and ask questions, make comments or raise concerns with the U.S. Mission.

Speaking at the launch, the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Jerry P. Lanier noted that there can be dangers arising from the fast-growing Internet freedom.

“Information now moves around the world at unprecedented speeds. An event in one location spreads across the planet in minutes. We get our news in real time from real people,” he said.

He refered to President Obama’s response to a question on the internet during his visit to China in November 2009.

“He said information helps citizens hold their goverments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages entrepreneurship,” explained Jerry Lanier, quoting President Obama.

“Amid this surge in connectivity, there are inherent dangers. Some will exploit the technology to undermine human progress. The same networks that help organize movements for freedom can also enable al-Qaeda and al-Shabab to incite voilence against the innocent.”

“While it is clear that the spread of technology is transforming our world, it is clear that the spread of technology is transforming our world, it is still unclear how that transformation will affect the human welfare of the world’s population – including those here in Uganda.

“What is clear, though, is that internet freedom is no different from the freedom of religion or the freedom of speech,” he explained.

The event’s guest speaker, Michael Niyitegeka noted that Ugandan websites lack Ugandan sufficient content – a factor that has kept them behind the likes of Google and YouTube in popularity.

“We need content. The only thing that makes them [the most popular websites] different is content,” said Michael Niyitegeka, who is also the head of Corporate Relations at Makerere University’s Faculty of Computing and Information Technology.

He challenged entrepreneurs to use the internet to target a global market.

“The internet is no longer a product. It is a market,” he said.

The Mission’s Facebook and Twitter pages contain a variety of information including updates on the U.S. Mission’s Information Resource Center, the Education USA educational advising program, announcements regarding cultural activities, and information for U.S. visa requirements.

The Flicker and YouTube pages provide updated photos and videos covering events at U.S. Mission Uganda. The goal of this new platform is to encourage a constructive dialogue among members of our dynamic U.S and Ugandan online communities.

In a separate interview, the Public Affairs Officer, Joann Lockard told PC Tech that the platform is intended to build bridges between Uganda the United States, as well as being an avenue for interaction.

“We want to hear what Ugandans care about. We want to build bridges between the U.S. and Uganda,” she said. 

More information can be found on the link:

http://kampala.usembassy.gov

Or you can follow the US Mission Uganda on Twitter, Facebook, Flicker and YouTube.