The government of Uganda has today Thursday revealed its intentions to start vigorous talks with various telecom companies and internet service providers to have internet costs slashed.
This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of ICT and national guidance Dr. Amina zawedde, in a meeting with members of the press at Mengo.
Dr Zawedde said that the expensive nature of internet fares is a stumbling block to government in her efforts to communicate with people, due to the fact that it complicates its efforts to inform the populace about matters of national concern.
She made it clear that internet is a vital tool in global communications and connections between youths, and various foreign campanies seeking to employ these Ugandans.
“The government is going to ensure that there is serious coordination between the governing structure and the youths, to ensure that there is a link between them and foreign companies who are out to develop their skills,” Dr Zawedde aid.
“These companies can use government as a link to Ugandan youths, such that these young stars are employed, and this is only possible when internet fares are too low. At the moment, internet fares are too high, and people are poor.”
She stressed that the expensive nature of internet charges has greatly hampered peoples’ progress in doing internet related activities, and reiterated government’s commitment to slash the costs.
“You find someone cannot afford to activate an internet bundle of Shs.5000 and do sensible internet related work. We as government, we are tasked with the responsibility of lowering internet fares, such that it is widely accessed by the public,” she said.
Micheal Kawooya Mwebe, the CBS FM chairman asked government to fulfil its promises of reducing internet charges because most of the activities in the current real world are internet based, due to the impact of Covid-19.
“Government made arrangements to reduce internet charges and taxes charged on people, such that it is widely accessible. We welcome this innitative and urge the ruling stracture to effect it because of drastic changes in the real world, which has made most of activities internet based, like online studies, internet based diagnosis, etc. So we largely believe that if it is put into practice, it will bring about swift operations and development,” he said.
Uganda is one of the top countries in Africa with high internet fares, and the situation was made more desperate in April this year, when government slapped a 12% tax on all internet packages.
On September 6th, 2020, Victoria University secretary Edwin Bamulanga asked government to reduce internet costs to enable effective delivery of online lectures. In the past months, government pledged to reduce internet costs, a decision which is yet to be implimented.
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