Uganda’s government has confirmed the installation 600 Wi-Fi hotspots nationally as part of the US$75-million World Bank-funded Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (RCIP). The free internet is available to government officials during business hours in the week, and to the public after business hours and the weekend.
Officials have confirmed the Wi-Fi will be rolled out wherever the national infrastructure backbone exists and extend connectivity to remote areas of the country.
National Information and Technology Authority Executive Director Dr Hatwib Mugasa added that the rollout forms part of the Uganda Digital Acceleration Programme.
Mugasa said of the 600 hotspots, 300 are situated in the capital, Kampala, with the remaining three hundred spread across regional cities.
He continued that under RCIP, the country has registered significant progress over the five-year period with a 100% completion rate of all set project activities including the extension of the geographic reach of broadband connectivity across the country and the development of the government system integration platform (government IT systems).
Mugasa said, “The government would like to provide free internet to selected areas. The internet that we are providing will be utilised by the government during working hours and by citizens after working hours and weekends. The internet will also be used during emergencies and by people applying for government services such as the national identification registration.”
In 2016, the Uganda government secured the financing from the World Bank to implement the RCIP with the aim of improving coverage of IT infrastructure in the country.
Uganda became the 9th African country after Burundi, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania, to benefit from the initiative.
The World Bank said a regional approach will help facilitate traffic flow, enhance the viability of infrastructure, and affordability of broadband.
In Uganda, the project has contributed to the extension of 764km of fibre optic cable infrastructure.