UGANDA ONLINE DISCUSSION
By Daniel Nanghaka
Ignite Africa/ISOC Uganda Chapter
On the first day of the Online discussions, the main
discussion was on Access - cost/affordability of
internet and infrastructure development. The
discussions where guided by the following question
What have we achieved so far?
Is internet more affordable now than 5 years back?
What are the current internet usage numbers in
Are we doing enough to utilize the existing
If yes, how and if not what more needs to be done?
Any success stories from the UIXP and what are its
benefits to Internet development in Uganda?
Internet Cafes Dongles and modems
Internet in Uganda is growing very fast and
the costs are reducing due to the multiple
stakeholders and ISPs who have joined the
Note: Per Capita GDP in US dollars, source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
UCC is applauded for doing a great job but needs
to be complimented by other stakeholders; which
is termed as concerted effort. They're the
regulators and protectors of consumer rights but
in many ways may be handicapped to do
INTERNET PENETRATION RATE
Internet Penetration is at 17% as of 31st
December 2012 from 9.6% in 2010 from the
(Internet World Stats).
Reduced costs in Internet Devices due to the rise
in technology for instance 5yrs ago an EDGE or
GPRS enabled phone (handset) was exceptional
but now it is okay to have a 3G enable handset
RURAL CHALLENGE OF CONNECTIVITY
The biggest challenge which needs to be checked
is rural Access to ICT
Developments have been basically happening in
the Urban centers/towns leaving our rural areas
ISP COST STRUCTURE
1 MB costs between 500 - 700 USD. Most ISP do
not have infrastructure in place. Major players
tier 1 are: Orange and Infocom. The majority of
the ISP hire data bundles from these ISP making
costs go high. The government has not played its
role to develop the infrastructure.
Smaller providers in Uganda can buy an STM-1
(155Mbps) for approximately $35,000/mo. This
roughly equates to $225/Mbps. The larger
providers can (presumably) get it for even less.
This has been the situation for a few
It is noted that the service providers still charge
three times this amount for access.
“ …Many companies have shifted from
Microwave to optic fibre because of it's enormous
advantages and the reduced cost. Although, it
has to be noted that the nature of our citizens
and people in the works department, have kind of
deterred the popularity of optic fibre as means of
delivering Internet …”
When ISPs sell services, connectivity for that
matter, they use complicated terminologies to
usher consumers into ignorance with a view of
ripping them off.
Current regime of smart phones is inundated by
counterfeits, which have their limitations
Rural Access to ICT
A lot has been achieved but more still needs to be
done which include
improving access mainly in urban areas
reduce cost of accessing infrastructure especially
work more towards achieving rural access
Existence of counterfeits especially with the
prevalence of smart phones,
Need for awareness creation from UCC in regard to
pricing and existence of counterfeits.
Critical mass needs to be mobilized through
awareness activities of any kind to empower users
with knowledge of the Internet
DAY 2: PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET, DATA
PROTECTION, SURVEILLANCE AND
In the wake of increased government online
surveillance, how can internet users protect
themselves while using the internet? Are the
laws adequate or do they seem to deter privacy?
The Regulation of Interception of
Communications Act 2010 is related to this in
anyway - Laws have to be harmonized
accordingly but shouldn't be politically
HOW CAN INTERNET USERS
PROTECT THEMSELVES WHILE
USING THE INTERNET?
Secure Socket Layers for Web based Systems
Password Security and changing weekly or monthly
Encryption is considered to be weak or strong based
on its algorithm and the number of characters in the
A cracker is a person who uses his knowledge of
computers and programming to gain unauthorized
access to a computer for the purpose of stealing or
Keys that are 128 bits long are called strong keys.
To implement a good security scheme, need to identify
the risk, determine how to protect the affected asset,
and calculate the cost of the resources you can allocate
to protect the asset.
Computer security can be classified into SIN
Secrecy prevents unauthorized data disclosure and ensures the
authenticity of the data’s source (Confidentiality)
Integrity prevents unauthorized data modification.
Necessity prevents data delays (slowing down the transmission
of data) or denials (preventing data from getting to its
Need appropriate countermeasures for these 3 categories to
protect themselves (users, businesses) and the computers used
to connect to the Internet.
SOCIAL NETWORK PRIVACY
Social networks do not offer much of a private life
to any user.
“…Yes you do have options of privacy setting this
and that but it really does not guarantee any
serious privacy. So basically, when we decide to
"hook onto" that social network, you have given
out some privacy…”
Social Networks and Security is paramount
despite a lot of private information on private
LIMITATION OF SOLVING CYBER CRIME
Cybercrime has no geopolitical barriers, it is
difficult for law enforcement agencies to catch
Privacy, data protection, surveillance and
censorship has been a very challenging issue in
reference to cyber crime and internet usage
One cannot know how the information collected
"legally" is going to be used, which calls for data
Purposive Data Collection
This is where a legislation on Data Protection
would be ideal to implore the data collectors to
collect on the necessary information/data and
should also let the owner the data know the
purpose of collecting this data.
WHAT IS BIG DATA
Big Data is mostly about telling stories with
data, which is very important in many aspects.
Access to Information Act (2005) in Uganda.
Resources should be geared towards the
implementation and working well to achieve its
Need to call upon government and stake holders
to implement the act as the beginning of an Open
Data Initiative by government. The World Bank
report study on the implementation and its
challenges can be accessed at
Depending on what data is being collected and
question of who has accessibility to this
information is a big concern
INDIVIDUAL INTERNET PRIVACY
Internet privacy involves the right or mandate of
personal privacy concerning the storing,
repurposing, provision to third-parties, and
displaying of information pertaining to oneself
via the Internet. And privacy is either in form of
PII (Personally Identifying Information) or a non-
PII and non-PII would be monitoring of site
visitor's behaviour on a website for suspicious
activities that in most cases will relate to
USE OF BIG DATA
Research purposes - This would go a long way in
helping government work out modals in poverty
eradication as it will encourage decisions on
equal resource allocation and distribution chain.
Public demand for openness and information
sharing which would especially be of great help to
the peasants deep in the villages and especially
the farmers who have no idea of global prices of
their products on the international and even
possibly on the local market.
“ … Big Data sourcing will always go back to the
laws and policies available in Uganda. As far as I
know it, Uganda has no freedom of information
law and these needs to be put in place…”