The national fibre-optic project was launched in 2006, and was scheduled to be completed by January 2009 but quickly ran into financial and technical problems.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the project, which was funded by the Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM), did not feature a tender and the government selected Huawei based on the EXIM’s recommendation.

The hardware installed by Huawei during the first stage – which connected government department and agencies- was an ‘inferior’ cable type and is expected to be insufficient for the country’s needs.

Worse still, the construction itself may have been flawed: the ICT ministry believes that the cable was deployed less than 15m from the centre of the road, and less than 1.5m below the surface, leaving the hardware vulnerable to accidental damage, vandalism and theft.

 It is feared that constant repairs will only rack up further costs, further debt, and prevent Uganda from making the most of its telecoms resources.

Source: 256 News