The World Bank approved United States Dollard 200 million (Ug Shs 703.470.600.000) financing to expand access to high-speed and affordable internet, improve efficiency of digitally enabled public service delivery as well as strengthening digital inclusion in Uganda.
The new Uganda Digital Acceleration Project will support the extension of 1,000 kilometres of the national backbone fiber infrastructure, an additional 500 kilometres of fiber optic network links between towns, mobile broadband connections for 900 government administrative units and service centers in underserved areas.
This will will also enable government to install 828 wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) hotspots in select locations to support access to online services among rural and peri-urban, underserved and unserved communities.
World Bank Country Manager for Uganda Mr. Tony Thompson said in a statement that the fund will accelerate the digital transformation infrastructure to support e-governance (electronic governance).
“Transforming Uganda’s digital infrastructure is an urgent necessity for post-COVID-19 recovery. We look forward to the time when all citizens can access high-quality and low-cost internet, public services online, a digital economy driving growth, innovation and job creation.” Tony said
With the United States Dollars (USD) 140 million in financing from the International Development Association (IDA) and a USD 60 million grant, the project will support the implementation of the governments’ flagship initiative called “GovNet”, which contributes to the objectives of Digital Uganda Vision and the Digital Transformation Program under the National Development Plan 3.
It will help develop shared platforms for ministries, departments, and agencies to efficiently deliver digitally enabled public services to citizens and businesses throughout the country. These digital platforms will create the foundations for better resilience and economic recovery by boosting the effectiveness of government electronic services that can be delivered remotely, in a paperless and cashless manner, reducing the need to travel for government services.
The expanded connectivity will also strengthen the digital inclusion of host communities and refugees by improving the availability of digital infrastructure and tackling demand-side factors like digital skills, affordability of internet connectivity, and accessibility of digital services.