Masindi - The number of telephone users in Uganda on both mobile and fixed lines has increased to 21 million up from 19.5 million in 2014, the State minister for Information and Communications Technology, Mr Nyombi Tembo, has said.
While officiating at the opening of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) regional office in Masindi District on Tuesday, Mr Tembo put registered telephone lines in the country at 52 per cent of the estimated total population of 35 million people, which would boost economic development.
"The considerable uptake of ICT if put to good use is a good indicator of social and economic transformation," he said.
According to Mr Tembo, the number of Internet users stands at eight million of which about three million are mobile internet subscribers and about 100,000 are internet fixed line subscribers representing about 20 per cent of overall Internet penetration in Uganda.
He said government in its national development plan and the country's vision 2014 prioritised information and communications technology as an essential tool for national development.
Accordingly, the minister said government is keen to realise sustainable national development facilitated through reliable, cost effective and affordable communication services.
Mr Tembo said government has establised a robust of responsive, legislative and policy framework to support ICT-related activities in order to realise the benefits of information technology age.
"As government, we shall continue to provide an enabling environment that attracts investment in ICTs and related industry," Mr Tembo said.
He, however, expressed concern over the growing trend of vandalisation of ICT infrastructures such as the cyber cable, saying it does not only disrupt services but also creates additional costs.
"It is instructive to note that vandalisation of ICT infrastructure is an offence under the Uganda Communications Act," he said adding that leaders at all level had a responsibility of sensitising the masses to ensure that ICT infrastructures are guarded jealously.
Speaking at the same function which was combined with the commemoration of international girls in ICT day, the UCC executive director, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, urged teachers to allow children exercise their talents, saying forcing a child to do what he or she doesn't like is a wastage of their time and opportunity.
"Don't force children to do Mathematics or Physics, let them do music if it is the one they want," he said, adding that some musicians are richer than engineers.
SOURCE: The Monitor