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Minister Judith Nabakooba (L) with NITA-U ED James Saaka

Minister Nabakooba Pledges to Lower the Cost of Internet

She added that in 2020 alone, Government will connect 700 government offices to the National backbone infrastructure. Nabakooba’s visit comes shortly after the completion of phase four of the NBI which was launched by H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in May 2019.
by Max Pat
posted onMarch 10, 2020
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By Kampala Post Reporter

The Minister of ICT & National Guidance, Judith Nabakooba has pledged to increase the upertake of Government online services and further reduce the cost of internet for Government. This was during a visit to the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) on Tuesday morning.

“Uganda’s investment in ICT infrastructure is already bearing fruits, when the National Backbone Infrastructure Government was spending USD 1,200 mbps and now we are at 70 per mbs. with 445 Government offices connected to the National Backbone infrastructure. With more investments to connect Government offices across the country, we shall lower the costs to USD 30 per Mbs. I urge all Government offices to make us of the available infrastructure to enable efficient service delivery and also lower Government’s cost of doing business," Nabakooba said.

She added that in 2020 alone, Government will connect 700 government offices to the National backbone infrastructure. Nabakooba’s visit comes shortly after the completion of phase four of the NBI which was launched by H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in May 2019.

The Fourth Phase of the NBI extended internet connectivity to districts of Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Yumbe, Koboko, Adjumani, Katakwi and the boarder points of, Oraba, Vurra and Mpondwe. With Phase four complete,Uganda is now a fully-fledged regional communications transit hub withconnectivity to Nine (9) border points; Busia, Mutukula, Elegu, Katuna, Malaba, Mpondwe, Vurra, Oraba and Goli.

Speaking to the press, James Saaka, Executive Director shared that NITA-U’s efforts are geared towards ensuring that all Government services are online.

“The infrastructure exists as the pillar for E-Government. A good example is the e-citizen’s portal is a one-stop Centre for Government online services (http://www.ecitizen.go.ug) whose main objective is to enhance Government service delivery to citizens, non-citizens, businesses and to Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. By the end of 2019, ninety-eight eservices had been developed and added onto the e-citizen’s portal. Some of which include; Anti-Corruption Reporting Service, e-passport, UWEC payments portal, Uganda Museum payments portal, Uganda Hotel and so on," Saaka said.

 According to Saaka, Various shared services have been established to provide subsidized, secure and scalable services to Government. For instance; the Unified Messaging and Collaboration System (UMCS) was established to ease communication across Government entities in a seamless and more cost effective manner. UMCS is now operational in 33 entities with over 7000 users.

Rowena Turinawe, acting Director E-Government services shared that the National Information Technology Authority Uganda together with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, through Accountant General’s Office has set up UGPay, a National e-Payment gateway.

“With the Gateway, a citizen will for example no longer have to physically move to a bank to effect payment for services. Interested private sector business enterprises will also receive payments for their supplies, in a bid to promote e-Commerce and financial inclusion in Uganda. Currently there are 9 agencies whose services you can pay for using the e-pay," he said.

The Government of Uganda through NITA-U under has embarked on the process of integrating all public systems with the aim of Improving service delivery through the sharing of information across Government. Integration will trust The Data Protection and Privacy Act which was assented to by the President on 27th February 2019 and published in the Uganda Gazette on 3rd May 2019 will be key in the integration process.

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