Uganda approaches China for US$150-m tech loan
Uganda’s government is looking to borrow US$150-million from the Exim Bank of China to reinforce the African country’s national backbone infrastructure project.
Uganda and China remain in negotiations over the exact terms and conditions of the loan.
The national backbone infrastructure project is ongoing since 2011 and its objectives are to connect all major towns to a fibre optic network, as well as government ministries and departments to the e-government network.
The country’s State Minister for ICT Peter Ogwang said a portion of the loan will be used to procure computers for schools and to connect these schools to facilitate e-learning.
Ogwang said e-learning is a priority for the country adding “that (is) the reason the government is making moves to increase access to broadband internet connectivity in schools through the national backbone infrastructure project.”
The East African country has over 23, 000 schools, according to the official school guide.
To date only 1,300 schools have received computers and connectivity, according to the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), primarily due to budgetary constraints.
The healthcare sector and specifically medical supply management has also been given priority.
Ogwang said, “Implementing the project will enable government institutions to increase productivity and help track the delivery of medical drugs that are delivered by the national medical stores to health units and then to patients. This will help to fight drug smuggling.”