The Ugandan government has set its sights on connecting the entire population to the internet as part of its ambitious digital transformation agenda. With 25 million internet users currently in the country, representing a penetration rate of 60%, Uganda is already making significant progress in bridging the digital divide.
As a significant step towards this goal, the government has unveiled plans to extend high-speed internet connectivity to refugee camps across the nation. Amina Zawedde, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and National Orientation, revealed the initiative during a recent announcement.
This effort is part of Uganda’s Universal Digital Transformation Acceleration Program, which has received support from the World Bank. The World Bank recently granted a loan of 1,800 billion shillings ($489.4 million) to the Ugandan government for the implementation of the program. The program encompasses various components, including the improvement and extension of internet access to remote communities.
The expansion of internet connectivity to refugee camps is expected to provide a crucial infrastructure for refugees to access educational resources, learn new languages, acquire professional skills, and enhance their livelihoods. With Uganda hosting approximately 1.5 million refugees, as estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), this initiative holds immense potential to empower and uplift the lives of those seeking refuge.
Through these efforts, the Ugandan government aims to create an inclusive and digitally empowered society, where every citizen, including refugees, can access the opportunities and benefits of the digital age.