Uganda launches solar tablet initiative to tackle widening digital divide
Uganda has launched a pilot project to distribute solar powered tablets to 1 400 homes across the country.
The project is being driven by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) via the Uganda Communications Universal Services Access Fund (UCUSAF) and directed under the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy.
The objective is to bridge the digital divide and address issues around connectivity and access.
Tablets have been manufactured by SIMI Mobile Uganda and come with an inbuilt solar energy system and can also be charged using grid electricity. They are loaded with data to last several months while the project is being monitored.
The tablets have undergone the mandatory type approval process and are registered and geo-tagged for security reasons.
The UCC said the project “includes driving acquisition and usage of ICTs in the selected households with corresponding spiral effects on other households, driving and enhancing digital literacy in the selected household communities.”
It is hoped that the beneficiaries, armed with internet enabled devices and basic digital skills, will be in a much better position to harness the digital information that is accessible through applications covering critical sectors such as education, health and agriculture.
Recipient households were selected based on a 2016/2017 Uganda National Household Survey conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).