The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Judith Nabakooba has appointed Dr. Hatwib Mugasa as the new Executive Director of the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) following the conclusion of Mr. James Saaka 10-year tenure as the ED of the body.
The appointment comes on the heels of a successful completion of the legally authorized 10-year tenure by the outgoing ED Mr. James Saaka that will officially expire in August 2020. Under the stead-fast leadership of Saaka, the authority has registered tremendous strides in digitizing the nation.
Speaking of his fruitful tenure, Mr. Saaka said; “I am pleased to have served Uganda for the last 10 years in driving the Digital revolution. I am honored to pass on the baton to Dr. Hawib Mugasa. We have accomplished much but there is still a lot that needs to be done. We need to lower the cost of internet further to USD$20 per Mbps and I am confident the team I’m leaving behind will achieve this.”
Mr. Saaka has been at the front of government’s deliberate effort to decrease the cost of internet. As a result, government saw a drop in internet prices from USD&1,200, in 2013, to USD$300 in 2016. In 2017 there was a further drop to USD$70 per Mbps and is projected to drop further to USD$50 by the end of 2020. The NITA-U cost of internet is 71% cheaper than what the private sector charges in Uganda.
It is pertinent to note that this influenced a drop in market led prices for internet to USD$300 per Mbps, the lowest in the East African region. All these efforts in astutely managing the NBI/ICT backbone have resulted in government realizing revenue of USD$ 20 million from the operation of the NBI/ICT Backbone.
“I am honored and thankful that H.E President Museveni, the ICT Ministers I have had the joy to serve under and the NITA Board, who have given me an opportunity to play a significant role in changing lives of Ugandans for years to come,” said Mr. Saaka.
He concluded his remarks by thanking the team with whom for 10 years he has worked tirelessly to digitize the country. “The NITA-U Board of Directors, Management team and the entire staff of NITA-U welcome Dr. Hatwib Mugasa to NITA-U,” he concluded.