Wednesday June 4 2014

Uganda urged to fast track ICT infrastructures



The 9th e-Learning Africa Conference closed in Kampala last week with a call on government to hasten financing for Information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures to increase accessibility to internet.
Several keynote speakers observed that this is the only way Uganda will effectively measure up in the ever-increasing cyber competition.

They said ICT integrates the social-economic aspects like agriculture, education, health, entertainment and innovations, but all this is made possible with robust infrastructure like broadband which should be expanded.
Mr Harold Elletson, a member of the organising committee for the conference, said Uganda will change drastically with improved ICT structures.
Mr Elletson added: “Massive investments are needed because there is a direct correlation between investments in infrastructure with social-economic growth.”

The conference brought together more than 1,500 participants from 68 countries across the world; technology exhibitors from 22 countries, company chief executives, innovators and researchers.
In 2009, government launched the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) and e-governance project to link operations of all ministries and districts, but the progress has been delayed.

ICT minister John Nasasira revealed government’s plans to expand broadband services across the country to facilitate greater economic growth by enabling e- based applications but the first step was to increase electricity coverage.

“The NBI will be implemented with broadband rollout working through public-private partnerships to ensure the reach of the network into rural areas that might not be profitable for commercial telecommunications companies,” he said.