Google Uganda Country Manager, Ham Namakajjo (Centre) with the some members of the Google team at the Press Conference in Kampala. [File Photo]

YouTube Uganda will offer video content from around the world through a local interface dedicated to, and promoting the content most relevant to Ugandans.

Founded in 2005, YouTube already boasts a whopping 3billion video views per day, with an average of 48 hours of video content uploaded every minute. The platform allows registered to upload an unlimited number of videos on their own “channel”.

In Uganda, NTV and Bukedde are currently the most popular channels.

Content on YouTube ranges from amateur to professional content: from the unexpected to the emotionally affecting, the educational to the entertaining, Ugandans now have greater flexibility to tell their stories, and find videos most useful to them.

“We are delighted to be launching YouTube in Uganda today,” said Google Uganda Country Manager Ham Namakajjo.

“This is a new opportunity for content creators in Uganda to bring the work of local artists, musicians, news-makers, leaders, and ordinary people to a global audience. We have fantastic collections of video content right here in Uganda and, with a new localized version of YouTube, Ugandans will be able to connect and use this information more easily,” he explained.

Dr._Ruhakana_RugundaOfficiating at the launch at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, ICT Minister, Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda hailed YouTube as a “great innovation” that will help Ugandans market their country to the rest of the world.

“Through such platforms like YouTube, Uganda will be able to market itself to the rest of the world more easily,” said ICT Minister, Dr. Rugunda.

“YouTube has presented us with a unique opportunity, and I call upon all Ugandans to use it as a platform to showcase the features of our country that make us fully Ugandan – music, wildlife, news, tourist sites, and so on,” he explained.

“Information remains an invaluable resource that can be used by people, young and old alike, professional and amateur to open up their worlds to new opportunities. Accessing relevant information and sharing helpful stories on the Internet is enabling people to learn, train and partner with each other to help better their lives. The government remains committed to creating employment opportunities for Ugandans and YouTube will definitely help in creating this entrepreneurial spirit.”

YouTube Uganda will make it easier for local users to find and view the videos most relevant to them on the homepage, through featured videos and category spotlights. Content uploaded by users in Uganda will show up as “browse pages” on the YouTube Uganda site, creating a new virtual space for the national community and giving Ugandan users the opportunity to increase their exposure.

Increasing Internet Access

Google Country Manager, Ham Namakajjo revealed that Google is already working with stakeholders, including Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and government to help make internet accessible to all.

The move comes as very welcome news as most Ugandans avoid video content due to bandwidth limitations.

In addition to the standard YouTube experience, users have the option to watch videos with YouTube Feather. This “light” version only includes the site’s most basic features, to help ensure that those with low-speed Internet connections are able to play videos play faster.  YouTube Feather can be found in TestTube, the area on the site where new products are tested.