The estimated number of individuals using internet in Uganda has increased by 7.9%, from 15,531,954 to 16,765,686 users as of 2017, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has revealed.
Uganda whose population stands at 37.58 million according to the 2013 census, remains the second largest internet user in East Africa with 44.6% usage.
Kenya leads the log with 68.7 usage, Rwanda at 24.8%, South Sudan at 17.4%, Tanzania at 14.5% and lastly Burundi with 4.7%.
According to UCC, the big rise is due to the ease of doing business in Uganda and the favorable environment for ICT operators in the country.
“The Commission set particular goals which its working towards achieving and the increase in number of internet users is one of the achievements so far recorded,” Pamela Ankunda, UCC’s publicist told this reporter on phone.
“The Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) has ensured extension of services to many areas that were considered undeserving and as of now, all government schools across the country have computers,” she added.
Ankunda also observed that the Improvement is not only limited to internet usage alone but has been recorded across the entire communications sector; including use of mobile phones and mobile financial services.
She notes that UCC introduced a toll free line and a complaint handling procedure, a move she says was meant to assure the public that they have “an active partner in UCC.”
“We have continued to ask operators to educate and sensitise the public about how to efficiently use their services so as to minimize complaints and allow ease of access of services. UCC is nolonger just about closing radio stations,” she said.
Asked about the future prospects of the commission and how they aim to keep the improvement, Ankunda said their commitment remains.
“We are not about to stop pursuing our objectives. We aim to see increased access and affordability of communication within the country.”
According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies and the official source for global ICT statistics, an estimated 3.2 billion users would be online by end of 2016.
A 2015 ITU report further suggests that of the 3.2 billion internet users, 2 billion would be from developing countries, including 89 million from least developed countries.