Background

ICT is an accelerator, amplifier, and augmenter of change. It has a huge potential to improve national productivity by making Government and business enterprises more efficient, effective and globally competitive. It is therefore a crucial driver of social and economic development. However, the ICT landscape is itself changing and government must take deliberate steps to keep this pace through the development and adoption of new strategies that can be leveraged to realize the country’s digital future.

Despite the potential that ICT has, utilization of its services across the country is still limited due to:

  • limited network coverage
  • poor quality services
  • high cost of end user devices and services
  • inadequate ICT knowledge and skills
  • limited innovation capacity

 

Goal

To increase ICT penetration and use of ICT services for social and economic development.

Objectives of the programme

In order to address the above constraints, the objectives of this programme are to:

  1. Increase the national ICT infrastructure coverage;
  2. Enhance usage of ICT in national development and service delivery;
  3. Promote ICT research, innovation and commercialisation of indigenous knowledge products;
  4. Increase the ICT human resource capital
  5. Strengthen the policy, legal and regulatory framework.

Milestones from NDP II [2015-2020]

Over the NDP II period (2015-2020), the information and communications services continued to grow at an average growth rate of 14.8 percent with the main drivers being the telecommunications followed by the broadcasting activities.

 

Total telephone subscriptions increased from 20.5 million in 2015 to 23.2 million in 2017 resulting in a tele density of 66.9%. The number of internet users increased from 6.2 million users in 2015 to 9.8 million users in 2017 – an internet penetration rate of 25%

Government developed common core infrastructure to improve service delivery and increase uptake of e-services by establishing the national data centre. This 

Efforts were made to incubate the youth to develop local products that can be consumed locally and even exported. Toward this, a Government supported ICT innovation hub was constructed at UICT Nakawa and has partnered with 20 private hubs across Uganda.

Over 100 innovations have also been financially supported to develop solutions to address public sector challenges through the National ICT Initiatives Support Programme

The ICT revolution and generally the increasing uptake of digital communications channels had a considerable impact on postal sector. It witnessed an 80%  drop in the domestic ordinary letter posted from 864,281 in 2015 to 168,386 in 2017.

Postal sector remains relevant in promoting e-commerce where physical delivery of products is required; the sector will therefore embrace digital transformation and diversify existing services

The total optical fibre network both Government and private owned spans around 12,000 km covering 49 percent of the districts and 24 percent of the sub counties with presence at all the border points.

The cost of internet access remains high compared internationally at an average of USD 84 per Mbps.

The price of internet for MDAs and LGs has significantly dropped, from an average cost of 1 Mbps/month of USD 300 in 2015 to USD 70 in 2018. ISPs have accordingly slashed their prices for 1 Mbps/month from an average of USD 515 in 2015, down to USD 237 in 2018.

NDP III [2020/21 - 2024/25] Key Results

The key results to be achieved before 2025 under the digital transformation agenda are:

  1. Increase ICT penetration (Internet penetration from 25 percent to 50 percent,
  2. Digital Terrestrial Television signal coverage from 56 percent to 90%, 70% NBI connectivity in Government MDAs/DHq; 90% national broadband coverage with minimum speed of 8 Mbps
  3. Reduce the cost of ICT devices and services (unit cost of 1Mbps /month of internet on the retail market from USD 237 to USD 70, unit cost of low entry smart phones from UGX 100,000 to UGX 60,000 and cost of a computer from UGX 1,600,000 to UGX 800,000);
  4. Create 30,000 direct jobs annually within the ICT sector;
  5. Increase local ICT innovation products developed and commercialized from 72 to 282;
  6. Provide 80 percent of government services online.