Internet for All – Accelerating Impact through Public Private Collaboration

MOICT & NG was among the ministries, agencies and organizations that attended Internet for All Forum which took place at UCC Conference room on 28th March, 2017 which was organized and headed by World Economic Forum.

Some of the attendees included officials from; Internet Society, NITA-U, ICT Association, NIRA, USA, Microsoft, Bosco Uganda, GSMA, Ericsson, UG-internet exchange point, World Bank,  and MTN.

While giving opening remarks at the forum, the Permanent Secretary MOICT & NG Hon. Bagiire Vincent Waiswa thanked WEF for all the work they have done all these years.

He informed the meeting that the forum would be discussing internet for all from the Ugandan perspective. He went ahead to mention two major challenges as far as internet for all project is concerned in Uganda and these included; un-enabling environment and invalid infrastructure. However, he also said that UCC will be upgrading telecom equipment from 2G-3G.

“A 70 year old uses mobile money not because government told them to but because it’s a necessity”. Said the Permanent Secretary

He concluded his opening remarks by posing a challenge, “how do we put all these infrastructures together to deliver?”

Eric an official from WEF led the presentation after opening remarks from PS; he mentioned that the project establishes physical and digital platforms that will create hundreds of millions of new internet users, with a focus on the hardest to reach. They intend to achieve this by increasing coordination and collaboration between public, private, bilateral/ multilateral, and non-profit organizations working to close the digital divide with government as the core partner.

He went ahead to say that internet for all is currently started in Northern corridor and some of the organizations engaged include; Network operators, government and NGOs.

There were two panels one discussed matters to do with broadband strategy and barriers to infrastructure development discussed included;

  •  Lack of electricity
  •  Limited network coverage
  •  Limited relevant content
  • Financing was also mentioned as one of the few barriers.

The second panel handled issues on last mile connectivity which was followed by group discussions on which applicable technologies Uganda can adopt from other countries to improve on last mile connectivity.

Some of the participants attending the Internet for All Forum at UCC conference room