Uganda leverages US$200m fund to boost digital acceleration
Uganda has secured US$200-million financing from the World Bank to advance its Digital Acceleration Project-GovNet (UDAP-GovNet).
According to a statement released by the World Bank, UDAP-GovNet will support the extension of 1,000 kilometre of national backbone fibre infrastructure and an additional 500 kilometre of fibre optic links between towns.
The Bank said the project will also support mobile broadband connections for 900 government administrative units and service centres in underserved areas and 828 Wi-Fi hotspots in selected locations to support access to online services among rural and peri-urban, underserved and unserved communities.
Together with US$140-million in financing from the International Development Agency (IDA) and a US$60-million grant, the Bank said the project will support the implementation of the government’s flagship initiative, GovNet, which contribute to the objectives of the Digital Uganda Vision and Digital Transformation Programme under the National Development Plan III.
Further, the Bank said the project will also help develop shared platforms for ministries, departments and agencies to efficiently deliver digitally enabled public services to citizens and businesses throughout the country.
The Bank believes that the digital platforms will create the foundations for better resilience and economic recovery by boosting the effectiveness of government e-services that can be delivered remotely, in a cashless and paperless manner, reducing the need to travel for government services.
World Bank country manager for Uganda Tony Thomson said, “Transformation of 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.”
Raman Krishnan, Task Team Leader, World Bank said, “The project will be intentional about gathering beneficially feedback about priority e-services. It will also identify and develop digital solutions that are inclusive for people with low digital skills and literacy levels to encourage their full participation in the digital economy.”