Tag Archives: ICT

Let us know about your projects !

Taxi Park Kampala

The ICT 4 Uganda Research group is ready for the trip to Uganda. We plan to be there April, May and June. If you have an interesting project we would certainly like to know about it !

We would invite the opportunity to meet fellow researchers and practitioners in the field. If you have an interesting project or initiative that would be relevant to one of our research trajectories feel free to contact us.

As a group we are interested in the following:

1) Scheduling a meeting and interview with you
2) Making a visit to your project to learn more about your activities
3) Introductions to people and projects that would fall under the scope of our research project
4) Any background information, reports or data that you feel would be useful or helpful to our project.

What can we do for you?

We are open to suggestions and to establishing partnerships in which we can work together. As a group we will be speaking to many individuals from across the ICT spectrum. We are pleased to share our contacts, network and any information that might be useful to you and your project.

Alternatively, feel free to send us your request or suggestions. We are happy to see how we can incorporate your needs into our project and in the effort to help you in any way possible.

In the meantime, we remain available to answer any questions or to share ideas.

Kind regards,
Ben, Wouter, Ali, Guido and Kai

ICT4Uganda pleased to cooperate with the 1%CLUB

Are you familiar with the 1%CLUB?

If you don’t know of them yet, you will soon. The 1%CLUB is an online marketplace for small-scale development projects. Its an innovative platform where individuals and companies are able to contribute 1% of their income, time and knowledge to any project of their choice. It is an innovative way for people to get involved.

The project was started by Anna Chojnacka and Bart Lacroix. For them the project is about taking on the balance between power and the powerlessness. Anna explains, ‘We live in a world where economic resources are unevenly distributed. Working together we can at least ensure that some of these resources end up where they can be very useful!”

As the ICT4Uganda research group we are pleased to be working with the 1%CLUB. We hope to visit some of their projects in Uganda and look forward to sharing our findings with Anna, Bart and the team.

After reviewing projects on their website, I came across the Foundation Cycling out of Poverty. I liked this project because they use mobile phones to help connect a network of health professionals. You can see this video for some additional background.

Location:
Uganda (East Africa)

Description
The purpose of this Health Care Project is to improve the medical service in Katakwi by providing bicycles and bicycle ambulances. These ambulances are equipped with mobile phones needed to link the network of health professionals. The ambulances and mobile phones allow this network to provide an efficient emergency transport system. This project is particularly useful for pregnant women.

If you want to know more about this project check their profile on the 1%CLUB website.
They could use your support.

It would be interesting to include a widget on our blog to see if we can help collect some donations for the project. Maybe this is just the kind of project the ICT4Uganda Research group can help support

The ‘Last Mile’; A crucial step to connect

After SEACOM touches the shores of east Africa, this part of the world will finally be connected to the broadband network. However, the SEACOM cable is  just the backbone of the connectivity. The Last Mile is the final leg of delivering connectivity from a communications provider to a customer. The actual distance of this leg may be considerably more than a mile, especially in rural areas in Africa.  

The hunger for information and communication technologies can only be stilled by these last mile services which prove to include considerable challenges. Laying cables trough the vast space of the African continent would take forever, fortunately wireless technologies are meeting the african demand. WiMAX is brought up as the solution and investments are well underway. 

But there is a new kid in the town of wireless connectivity. This kid might delay the process of widespread broadband connection in Africa. A big battle appears to be between WiMAX and a technology that doesn’t yet exist, LTE.  This new technology is making investors weary of investing in WiMAX because they believe it is already outdated. The WiMAX industry has been bragging about its time-to-market advantage over LTE. Mobile WiMAX networks are rolling out this year. LTE networks aren’t expected to become commercial until 2010 or 2011.

It will be interesting to see when the new technology will be introduced and how it will affect the leapfrog Africa is about to make.

Facts and Figures on ICT in Uganda

In order to do research on ICT in Uganda it is good to start with orientating on the initial facts and figures that describe the usage of ICT and the key points on what to focus.  Therefore some valuable information sources have been inventorized to provide this information.

The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST)  has developed a great deal of knowledge on this subject. The UNCST is a semi-autonomous government agency established in 1990 by the parliament to advise, develop and implement policies and strategies for integrating science, technology and research development in Uganda. Here you can find an extensive report on the status of ICT in Uganda in 2002, executed by the UNCST and implemented by the National Foundation for Research and Development (NFRD).

A case study conducted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2001 on the status of ICT in Uganda you can find here. And here a powerpoint document presenting the information gathered by ITU.

In the Ministerial Policy Statement for the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology , for the financial year of 2008/2009, a great deal of information on the governmental policies, implementation plans, achievements and expenditure can be found. This document states the mandate, mission and vision of the Ugandan Ministry of ICT, it outlines achievements in physical and financial terms and reports challenges encountered in 2007/2008.
Here a document on the ICT policy in Uganda of 2003. It emphasizes the importance of a national ICT policy and gives insight in the status of ICT systems, the telecommunications infrastructure and focuses especially on emerging issues.

Here you can find information on extensive orientating research done by “Reflect” in 25 villages in Kabarole region of south west Uganda. Their results on key development priorities, existing communication practices and other extremely valuable information to keep in mind for conducting research on ICT for social change is presented here. And some more information on research they’ve done in Africa.

Here some interesting facts and figures of the Uganda Investment Authority on the state of the information and communications sector. And a briefing on the growth of the ICT sector from 2002 to 2007. Their website also provides a rich resource of valuable information and assistance in establishing businesses in Uganda.

Uganda hosts IST-Africa 2009

ICT Conference Uganda 2009

ICT Conference Uganda 2009

IST-Africa 2009 will be hosted by the Government of the Republic of Uganda through the Ministry of ICT. The event is supported by the European Commission and technical co-sponsored by IEEE. IST-Africa 2009 will take place on the shores of Lake Victoria at Speke/Munyonyo Resort and Conference Centre, Kampala from 6 – 8 May 2009.

Part of the IST-Africa Initiative, which is supported by the European Commission under the ICT Theme of Framework Programme 7 (FP7), IST-Africa 2009 is the fourth in an annual conference series which brings together senior representatives from commercial, government and research organisations across Africa and from Europe, to bridge the digital divide by sharing knowledge, experience, lessons learnt and good practice and discussing policy related issues.

IST-Africa 2009 focus

IST-Africa 2009 will focus on the role of ICT for Africa’s development and specifically on applied ICT research topics addressing major societal and economic challenges, which is part of the European Commission’s Information Communications Technologies (ICT) Theme of FP7. The conference programme combines strategic keynote presentations, technical and policy papers, case studies, workshops, an exhibition and social activities.

IST-Africa directly supports the goals of the Africa-EU Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space, the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) and the Consolidated Plan of Action for the African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE).

In the context of focusing on the role of ICT for Africa’s development, the opening plenary on Wednesday, 6 May will feature a high-level dialogue on Implementation of the Africa-EU Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space. The closing plenary on Friday, 8 May will focus on Initiatives Supporting Development of Regional S&T.

Online payment registration is open with presenter registration due by 9 March and early bird registration available up to 14 March 2009.

IST-Africa 2009 programme

The scientific programme for IST-Africa 2009 is based on an open call for papers which closed in late November 2008. The advance programme consists of two plenary sessions and 38 parallel sessions featuring over 130 presenters from government, commercial and research organisations in 36 countries (20 European countries, 14 African countries, Canada and US). Accepted authors should submit their final papers online by 27 February and registration by 09 March.

Confirmed plenary speakers to date include:

* Dr Ham-Mukasa Mulira, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Uganda
* Dr. Sally Kosgey, Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Kenya (AMCOST Chair)
* Antti Peltomäki, Deputy Director-General, DG Information Society and Media, European Commission, Belgium
* Dr Hakim Elwaer, Director, HRST, African Union Commission
* Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia
* Adem Sumertas, Managing Director, Ericsson Uganda
* Dr. Philippe Mawoko, Programme Coordinator, African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (ASTII) Initiative, NEPAD S&T
* Ilari Lindy, Advisor, Information Society for Development, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
* Thierry Devars, DG Information Society and Media, European Commission, Belgium
* Stijn van de Krogt, Deputy Director, IICD, Netherlands

IST-Africa 2009 Exhibition

IST-Africa 2009 will also feature an exhibition that provides the opportunity to showcase research results and applications through technology demonstrations, whether funded commercially or at national, regional or European level. The Call for Exhibitors is open with a closing date of 27 February.

The goals of the IST-Africa Conference Series are community building to facilitate EU-African research co-operation and successful exploitation of research results, to stimulate take-up of RTD results by industry, small- and medium-Sized businesses and the public sector, to promote knowledge sharing between commercial organisations, government agencies and the research community, to exchange experiences about the current state of eAdoption at a sectoral, national or regional level, support international co-operation and open up the European Research Area (ERA) to Africa.

The IST-Africa Conference will provide a collegiate setting for presentations and discussions of national and regional developments, issues of concern and good practice models. It will also provide an excellent networking environment for delegates to discuss problems, share knowledge, obtain feedback, and learn more about opportunities to participate in ICT Calls under Framework Programme 7 (FP7).

Read more about this event or register to participate here.

Facts and Figures on Mobile Internet in Uganda

Lillian has a great posting that illustrates some of the hurdles and challenges in Uganda.

Less than 5% of Ugandans have access to the Internet that is according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). Latest data shows that there are 175,568 active mobile internet users, who access internet through data-enabled devices or at fixed wireless hotspots. This increasing accessibility via mobile phone is helping to shift the internet landscape from traditional fixed access to mobile wireless access.

I was also interested to read about some of the key legislation that needs to be passed and how this can be stalled by the political process.
Read more on her blog From Uganda to You.

Visits to the Ugandan Embassy in the Netherlands

We had the opportunity to meet with Mirjam Blaak.

She was kind enough to share her extensive knowledge and experiences of Uganda.

It is clear that the rural areas of the country need the most attention and should play an important role in our research.

We look forward to being in touch with Mrs. Blaak and hope to see her again in Uganda.

Meeting with Mirjam Blaak, Ugandan Ambassador to the Netherlands

Lack of research widening digital divide, Uganda ICT minister says

By Edris Kisambira, IDG News Service\Kampala Bureau
21 Oct, 2008

A lack of ICT research and limited cooperation and information sharing among research groups is widening the digital divide between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world, according to Uganda’s minister of ICT, Ham Mukasa Mulira.

Collaboration between Africans and the rest of the world is important with regard to the development of ICT in Africa, he said at the opening of the EuroAfriCa-ICT Awareness Workshop in Kampala on Monday.

The EuroAfriCa-ICT project presents an opportunity for the sub-Saharan region to explore new areas of collaboration, like joint research, ICT application development, mentorship and industrial attachment, Mulira noted.

“Europe has a lot of expertise in undertaking research of different kinds related to science and technology, which could be of great advantage to many young researchers in the region,” added Ugandan Prime Minister Appolo Nsibambi.

According to Nsibambi, Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to reap benefit from e-health, e-education, e-commerce and business process outsourcing.

“In order for these to take root,” he said, “it is very important that research provides the foundation for the implementation of such projects.”

However, Mulira pointed out in his address that the biggest challenge confronting the sector, especially in eastern Africa, is the lack of access to international undersea cable systems.

“This has inevitably denied our people access to the cheap international bandwidth due to the sole dependence on satellite, which is expensive and limited in capacity,” Mulira said.
Ongoing regional undersea cable initiatives such as EASSy (Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System), TEAMS (The East African Marine System), SEACOM, and Uhurunet are expected to address the bandwidth constraint by end of 2009.

With proper infrastructure in place, Mulira noted, universal access will become feasible, allowing developing nations to leapfrog ahead.