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The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has got a new Board of Directors. The new commissioners, were appointed recently, were inaugurated at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT) in Kampala yesterday.

UCC Board

The new commissioners are Eng. Dr Vincent Kasangaki (Chairman), Dr Nora Mulira (extreme right, seated), Dr Wardha Mummy Rajab-Gyagenda (3rd right, back row), Ms Evelyn Gloria Piloya (extreme left, back row), Ms Jane Frances Anyango Kabbale (3rd left, back row), Mr William Byaruhanga (2nd left, back row), Eng. Charles Lwanga Auk (4th right, back row) and Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi (2nd right, back row).

Speaking at the function, the Minister for ICT, Hon. John Nasasira, said he was satisfied the new team in terms of quality, professionalism, gender balance, regional and interest-group representation, among others. He said their appointment came at a time when there are tremendous opportunities and challenges in the communications sector.

Hon. Nasasira pointed out institutional capacity, manpower development, ICT infrastructure development, information security, local content, e-Governance and e-Services, as some of the issues need urgent attention in the sector. However, he was quick to note that the new National ICT Strategic Plan, currently being finalised, addressed most of these challenges.

Hon. Nasasira advised the new board to acclimatise themselves with the new Uganda Communications Act, formalised the merger between UCC and the Broadcasting Council in 2013, adding that the Ministry of ICT would readily work with the new board.

In his maiden speech as Chairperson, Dr Eng. Kasangaki said the new board would espouse the principle of corporate governance. “The Board will address policy issues; and leave the day-to-day operations of the Commission to the Secretariat. We will expect the Secretariat to present issues for Board decision in good time, and with very well-articulated specific recommendations.”

Dr Kasangaki identified human resources development, financial management, the needs and interests of consumers and operators, as some of the key areas the new board would emphasise. He said the board would also work towards turning UCC’s Nakawa-based Uganda Institute of Communication Technology (UICT) into a centre of excellence.

Dr Kasangaki thanked the Secretariat for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission. “Specifically, I wish to commend the public relations efforts that have been put in place in the recent past that have made UCC visible,” he said, adding, “UCC must justify its existence by being relevant to society.”

This is the sixth Board since UCC was established in 1998, but the first since UCC and Broadcasting Council merged under the Uganda Communications Act 2013. Eng. Kasangaki represents the Institutions of Professional Engineers of Uganda (UIPE), while Mr Byaruhanga represents the Uganda Law Society. Eng. Auk, an ex-officio, represents the Ministry of ICT, while Eng. Mutabazi, by virtue of his being the Executive Director of UCC, is the secretary of the Board.

On the other hand, Dr Mulira, Dr Rajab-Gyagenda, Ms Piloya, Ms Anyango Kabbale, are eminent persons representing sections of the general public such as consumers, bankers, researchers and the academia.

This board comes almost three years after the expiry of the fifth one, which was an interim board during the merger process. Engineer Dr Dorothy Kabagaju Okello was the chairperson of the fifth board, which in turn replaced the Eng. Dr Eng. Abel Katahoire-led fourth board. Engineers Dr Dorothy Okello, Geoffrey Ssebugwawo, and Patrick Masambu (then Executive Director of UCC), and Messrs Elly Rugasira, Moses Opio-Ogal and Tim Lwanga were members of the fourth board.