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Is NITA-U NBI/EGI Project, a Solution to the High Internet Costs in Uganda?

NITA Executive Director, Mr James Saaka

NITA-U Executive Director, Mr James Saaka

The National Transmission Backbone/E-Government Infrastructure (NBI/EGI) project is a government imitative by Ministry of Information Communication Technology of Uganda through its mandated body National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U), intended to ensure that high bandwidth data connection is available in all major towns of Uganda at a reasonable rate.

This Infrastructure is also designed to reduce the cost of doing business in government, improving communications between government agencies, and reducing the need for officials to commute for meeting and, thus, increasing efficiency.

This project has so far witnessed approximately 2400km of optical fiber cable laid countrywide connecting 33 towns, 322 government offices, and Free Wi-Fi coverage in 186 locations.

The Project which has been supported by the China government through a concessional loan, has seen the successful completion of 3 Phases, and Huawei was contracted to construct the National Backbone, this has also come with multiple benefits to the Government operations which among the many are some listed below;

The deployment of the e-government platform as part of the NBI/EGI project has led to the increased transparency of government activities, enabled departments to share public data and enhance inter-departmental coordination, reduced government administration costs, and generally improved work efficiency.

With a dedicated government network, the Ugandan government can more easily construct and maintain its official website and implement a business information platform capable of attracting more foreign investment and generating employment opportunities. Thus, the government could both improve its international reputation and seek to further boost economic development.

These benefits have been exhibited through some of these initiatives;

The Project , through the recently concluded Phase 3 in 2016 has established 3 uplink connections to 3 countries, i.e. Kenya through Malaba and Busia Border points, Tanzania though Mutukula and Sudan through Elegu border point boosting the resilience of the Government Network through the;

All these have been envisioned to improving the livelihood of Ugandan Citizens through reduction of Internet bandwidth costs and more work is still underway in the Phase 4 of the project to connect more towns which haven’t yet harnessed these benefits.[related-posts]

What is the Significance of the Missing Link Project?
The Missing Links project will add more links to the Government backbone network in the West Nile, Karamoja and the Rwenzori regions connection to the rest of the country. This will further ease operations and have more services go online, reduce unnecessary delays and paperwork and at last Ugandans will be able to apply for passports, drivers license, National ID, Visa and other important documents online without having to line up in long queues wasting a lot of time.

This will furthermore boost tourism in the country though increased usage of IT, Social media platforms, Integration of our markets with International markets and enabling farmers to market their produce easily both inside and outside Uganda.

This automation of processes through the seamless interconnection between different districts, organizations and government agencies through the National Backbone that has been constructed will furthermore boost the economy of Uganda as we harness the benefits of IT and automation thereby bringing a more digitized fast growing economy.

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