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December 4, 2023

WATCH: Uganda accelerates digital transformation for economic recovery

By Ugandan journalist Nakizito Anita. First published in BTM Television.

Three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a need to expedite the process of digitalization as a vital component for economic recovery in Uganda. The implementation of digital technologies such as digital wallets and online shopping, during the lockdown showcased the country's immense potential for accelerating economic recovery. Despite being mentioned in the national development plan, digital technology did not have a significant impact initially. However, in 2021, a larger portion of the population in Uganda embraced and adopted the digital technology policy.

To discover the impact of digital inclusivity on the economy and exploring the government's strategies to narrow the digital divide between urban and rural populations, BTM Television visited Jinja city in the Eastern Region of Uganda with the aim of gaining a deeper insight into the impact of technology on the local economy.

Courtesy of BTM Television


[00:00 - 00:45] - BTM Reporter: Jinja city located in Eastern Uganda is famous for its tourist attractions and the source of the nail is one of them in our search for how technology has influenced the economy we visited Jinja to find out at our reception we headed to the source of the Nile where we interacted with several people in the matter Victor Wysoa a tour guide and a photographer led us through our tour and
during our chat he revealed that the internet was key in boosting business at the source of the Nile post the lockdown.

[00:56 - 01:31] - BTM Reporter: Tourists, SungHee Lim and Sinae Won, whon we found at the source of the nile at roumors restaurant reached their destination of choice through Google maps.

[01:35 - 01:55] - BTM Reporter: Other side of Uganda Kampala the capital city a number of tech entrepreneurs are reinventing the retail sector through several digital solutions. Informal trade within the city supply chain disruptions during lockdown made it hard for businesses to operate and stay a downfall. Wako Victor, Merchandise Trader, narrates how he escaped the downfall by joining different retail digital platforms that have helped him back on his feet.

[03:37 - 04:04] - BTM Reporter: Uganda's ICT sector is one of the most vibrant within the region and the fast growing sector in the economy offering many opportunities to Ugandans this has been witnessed by the sector's contribution to the GDP which stands at nine percent currently and still growing the same sector is fighting unemployment among youth who are now employed through different apps like uber where they earn a daily income. Uber driver, Zzinda Ronald shares with us.

[03:37 - 04:04] - BTM Reporter: The third National development plan NDP 2020 for 2025 identifies digital Tech to spur the economy for efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery and productivity the key priority areas in this plan include access to digital infrastructure affordability and quality of ICT services this has been witnessed through the Innovation village a tech Hub that has managed to address the digital divide between men and women by offering skills to young women and also spaces where they can showcase their skills, Namazzi Brenda, a beauty products consumer, uses WhatsApp to attract her customers.

[06:25 - 06:38] - BTM Reporter: Ugandan government is resourcing further investments and partnerships with technology companies to assemble smartphones within the region engaging6:it is technology companies to see how they can come and manufacture the same phones, Chris Baryomunsi -Minister for ICT and National Guidance gives more insights.

[07:12 - 07:25] The regulator Nita U has also sliced the price of Internet bandwidth from US$ 70 to US$ 35 per megabyte / per month to enable ordinary citizens access services from government, executive director- Hatwib Mugasa explains.

[07:57 - 08:21] - BTM Reporter: With support from the United Nations, government has rolled out a five-year digital transformation roadmap which details Uganda's Journey towards a fully digital society, however much their dream is achievable high taxes on imported gadgets mobile money withdraws and forbidden access to Facebook still inhibit digital service affordability.

Ugandan government is resourcing investments and partnerships with technology companies to assemble smart phones within the Kampala region. (Image: Nakizito Anita).
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