Speeches and Presentations

Statement By Head Of Uganda Delegation At The 45th AFRALTI Governing Council, Held In Mbabane, Swaziland

Monday, 19th August 2013 | Mbabane, Swaziland Our Hosts
The Heads of Delegations
The Chief Executive Officers of the  various regulatory bodies
Distinguished Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen

I bring you greetings from Uganda, especially from the Uganda  Communications Commission (UCC). It is my pleasure to address you all the  delegates attending this 45th General Council Meeting of the Africa  Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI) convened here in Nairobi,  Kenya.

This  forum, being the highest policy organ of AFRALTI, is certainly important and  unique as it provides for direct interaction between us, the key stakeholders,  with regard to providing policy direction that will guide AFRALTI for the next  two years.

As mentioned  by our Minister, we wish to reaffirm the commitment of the Government of Uganda  in supporting AFRALTI   as a centre of  excellence for human resources building in the region. In that regard, I am  happy to note that Uganda's representative, UCC, has continued to play an  active role as a member of the Governing Council.

As the outgoing chair of the AFRALTI Governing Council Meeting, we  wish to congratulate the new Director upon his appointment and we hope that  during his tenure, AFRALTI will continue to renew itself and adapt to new  challenges and new circumstances as the ICT sector continues to evolve,  offering new services and new opportunities.

During the intervening period, Uganda has remained steadfast in  the activities of AFRALTI. I wish now to provide highlights on communication  sector growth. 

  • At the national level, we have continuously carried out reforms which  have led to a review of the communications policy aimed at aligning the sector  to meet the emerging challenges and opportunities.  The UCC and the Broadcasting Council  officially merged into one regulatory body under the Uganda Communications  Commission Act, 2013. 
  • Our universal access programme - the  Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) - has  achieved notable success in Uganda and thus has become a reference point for  rural communications in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.
  • Our communications sector has grown significantly.
  • Currently, there are 16.8 million  mobile phone subscribers out of a population of 35 million.
  • 208 of the 250 licensed private FM radio  stations are operational; and 64 of the 74 private television stations are  operational.
  • The telecommunication sub-sector is among the  leading generator of revenue to government through payment of such taxes as  excise, VAT and PAYE. The sector contributed UGX152b as at the end of 2012. 
  • The geographical coverage of basic voice  communications services is 100 per cent.
  • In terms of  service usage, the number of registered mobile money customers has   risen to an estimated 11 million as of March  2013 while total value of e money in circulation is estimated to have reached  UGX1trillion at the end of March 2012.
  • Uganda's Internet market has increased; with the  number of internet users estimated at 6.2 million as of December 31, 2012.
  • Our  postal subsector – comprising 1 (one) major operator and 25 local, regional and  international courier firms – is also doing well. Through RCDF, we revamped 25  post offices and funded the establishment of 20 postal telecentres throughout  the country.
  • We have undertaken of a number of programmes and projects:

(a) SIM Card registration will end on  August 31, 2013
 (b) Digital broadcasting  has just kicked off, albeit in phases. Greater Kampala – a region where almost 70% of the TV viewers stay –  is now operational. It is anticipated three-quarters of  Uganda will be enjoying digital broadcasting by the end of this year.
 (c) The National  Addressing and Postcode Project is ongoing.
 

Mr Chairman, all said, I wish to  reiterate Uganda's commitment to AFRALTI. We have always met our financial  obligation to AFRALTI in a timely manner and pledge to remain as such. And, we  have been active participants in a many AFRALTI-led collaborations.

Distinguished delegates, I do not  intend to take any more of your time, as I realise that we have a busy schedule  before us. Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to the organisers for the  warm gesture of hospitality accorded to us. I thank you.

Quinto Ojok
Head of Delegation