Last March, Uganda obtained a loan of 1.8 trillion shillings from the World Bank to improve its access to the Internet. According to the latest official statistics, 41% of the country’s population does not have access to the Internet.
The Ugandan government is working with China to establish the basic infrastructure needed to ensure Internet access for the entire population. The initiative was revealed by Chris Baryomunsi, Minister of Information, Communication Technology and National Guidance, during an interview with local news agency Monitor .
“ We are connecting urban and rural areas using Chinese companies to make sure no one is left behind, and we want everyone to have internet connectivity. We are building towers to ensure complete coverage of the Internet ,” the minister said.
This initiative is part of a partnership agreement signed earlier this month between Uganda and the Middle Kingdom, on the sidelines of the China-Africa cooperation forum on digital capacity building. It is part of the Ugandan government’s ambition to accelerate digital transformation to support economic recovery, create unlimited opportunities for youth and achieve “Vision 2040”. Last March, the executive secured 1.8 trillion shillings (US$477.4 million) in funding from the World Bank to expand internet access in the country.
This partnership is expected to not only improve the quality and coverage of Internet connectivity in Uganda, but also reduce the costs of these services and make them more affordable to the entire population, particularly communities living in rural areas. . Furthermore, the government announced last June a program aimed at providing high-speed Internet connectivity to refugee camps across the country .
According to statistics from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Uganda had 27 million internet service subscribers at the end of March 2023. This represents a penetration rate of 59%, with an estimated population to 45.5 million.