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NRM Manifesto Week: Achievements in the ICT Sector for the Past 5 Years

The ruling Government, the NRM through its NRM Manifesto 2016-2021 released its twelve (12) pledges for the ICT sector and yesterday, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance; Hon. Judith Nabakooba announced some of the achievements the sector has accomplished.

The NRM manifesto week is when Ministries showcase some of the achievements their sector’s have accomplished over the last five years. This years are from 2016 to 2021.

The achievements of the ICT from 2016-2020 are;

  1. A total of about 4,000KMs of fiber optic cable has been laid.
  2. 480 government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and local government (LGs) have been connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI). And 700 new MDAs/LGs will be connected as well by the end of next financial year 2020/21.
  3. Over USD$200 million (roughly UGX757.9 billion) has been generated from commercialization on the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) in the last five years.
  4. 31 police stations and 9 UPDF sites have been connected to the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI).
  5. Free Wi-Fi connectivity, MyUG is provided to the general public in 284 locations in the Kampala and Entebbe from 5PM to 6AM.
  6. The National Broadband Policy 2018 was approved.
  7. 17 regulations developed under the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) Act 2013.
  8. The National data centre and disaster recovery site have been upgraded to the Tier 3 classification hosting 60 MDAs, over 90 critical applications and 358 websites.
  9. The National strategy on the fourth industrial revolution has been developed to guide the country in the adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and 5G.
  10. Government Citizens Interaction Centre (GCIC) has been strengthen to provide social media communication on government programmes.
  11. Priority eServices have been developed and are being rolled out in government MDAs. 37 MDAs are using the Unified Messaging and Collaboration System (UMCS).
  12. 22 base stations in rural areas upgraded from 2G to 3G to provide internet to over one million Ugandans through RDCF.
  13. Free-to-Air network increased TV signal coverage from 20% in 2016 to 60% in 2020 and TV content providers/clients from 24 in 2017 to 40 in 2020.
  14. The Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) national radio station has been restored in the areas of Kisoro, Rubirizi, Arua, Soroti, Lira, Masaka and Mbarara. This has improved radio network coverage by 10% from 60% to 70%.

The National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI/EGI)
The Government through the Ministry of ICT secured funding towards the implementation of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure (NBI/EGI) Project with the objective to provide connectivity to Government MDAs/LGs in the country.

The project was divided into four phases which involved the laying of Optical Fiber Cable across the country to all major towns, with transmission stations in these towns.

With the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) in charge, they have completed the implementation of all the four Phases of the NBI/EGI Project.

The fifth phase is underway. While visiting the National Data Centre in Jinja earlier this year, the State Minister of ICT and National Guidance; Hon. Peter Ogwang revealed that the fifth phase of the NBI project will be launched and will address the issue of connectivity to the final customers like; Health Centers and Schools around the country.

Minister and State Minister of ICT and National Guidance; Hon. Judith Nabakooba (L) and Hon. Peter Ogwang (R) visit to the National Data Center in Jinja, on Tuesday 4th, February 2020.
Minister and State Minister of ICT and National Guidance; Hon. Judith Nabakooba (L) and Hon. Peter Ogwang (R) visit to the National Data Center in Jinja, on Tuesday 4th, February 2020.

MyUG
MyUG was availed in October 2016, following by then the Minister of ICT; Hon. Frank Tumwebaze‘s directive to avail citizens living within the borders of Kampala and Entebbe with free Wi-Fi.

NITA-U with effective of 1st October, 2016, begun offering the free Wi-Fi within selected location in the Kampala Central Business District and Entebbe from 5PM to 6AM.

In 2019, NITA-U confirmed MyUG was available at 284 hotspots in Kampala and Entebbe. Simutaneoulsy, confirmed 76,519 users to have signed up and using the service. Before end of the year, Tumwebaze said there could be a possibility of expanding the MyUG reach to other public areas other than Kampala and Entebbe

MyUG is a pilot initiative to open up hot spots in public areas using the unused capacity of government offices after 5PM when they closed and before 9AM when they open.

How to connect to MyUG:

  1. Search for hot spots broadcasting MyUG in your area (see link here).
  2. Signup via the access page using — name, email address, phone number, select username and password, date of birth, and gender.
  3. Once all that is done, you’ll be eligible to connect to MyUG.

The Tier 3 National Data Centre
The state-owned data centre was officially commissioned in Jinja by H.E. President Museveni last year — operated by NITA Uganda. The introduced of the data centre is strategy for the government to provide a centralized hosting services for its data and applications.

President Yoweri Museveni cutting the ribbon officially launching the National Tier 3 Data Center in Jinja on Thursday June, 12th 2019.
President Yoweri Museveni cutting the ribbon officially launching the National Tier 3 Data Center in Jinja on Thursday June, 12th 2019.

The data centre houses all government MDAs/LGs ICT applications. Thereby saving tax payer’s money with the centralized hosting consequently avoiding duplication and wastage of resources.

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