The funds cover 68 billion shillings for broadband infrastructure and connectivity to tourist sites, 18.5 billion shillings to complete the revamp process at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) and 7 billion shillings to the Innovation Fund.
Parliament has approved a proposal to allocate an
extra 94.5 Billion shillings to the Information, Communications Technology and
National Guidance sector in the 2019/2020 budget.
This is after the House adopted the report of the ICT and National
Guidance Committee that made the recommendation that the sector is given more
funds for certain activities in the next financial year.
The committee considered and made recommendations on the
ministerial statement that includes the ICT ministry, Uganda Communications
Commission (UCC), Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), National Information
Technology Authority of Uganda (NITA-U), Uganda Posts Limited (UPL) and
Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology (UICT).
Among the key recommendations is allocation of extra funds for
three key priorities in the sector. The funds cover 68 billion
shillings for broadband infrastructure and connectivity to tourist sites,
18.5 billion shillings to complete the revamp process at Uganda
Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) and 7 billion shillings to the Innovation Fund.
The committee chairperson, Annet Nyakecho while presenting the
report on the ICT ministerial statement on Thursday urged the House to approve
the allocation of extra funds, especially for connectivity to tourist sites,
UBC revamp and the Innovation Fund.
The Innovation Fund was set up to implement the National ICT
Innovations Support Programme.
Nyakecho noted that the Fund was allocated the same amount of 13
billion shillings in 2018/2019 budget. The Fund disbursed grants
worth 2.5 billion shillings to 10 out of 350 applicants. The beneficiaries-8
males and 2 females, used the money to develop ICT systems to improve service
delivery in agriculture, health, education and energy.
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Nyakecho also reminded the MPs that President Yoweri Museveni in
2016, pledged 20 billion shillings to revamp UBC, to carry out its mandate as a
national broadcaster. President Museveni directed that the ministry of
finance should release a bailout of 20 billion shillings to save UBC from an accumulated
debt of about 29 billion shillings.
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Nyakecho, however, proposed that out of the 9.6 billion shillings
allocated to UBC for recurrent and development expenditure in 2019/2020, the
ministry must ring-fence 4.5 billion shillings for content development and
maintenance. Also, 3.5 billion shillings should be spent on making UBC a