The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) had the following engagements in the two weeks ending November 27, 2020. These include;
Virtual Consultation of Councilors – November 16-20
The Commission team Headed by the Executive Director participated in 2nd Virtual Consultation of Councilors. Uganda as one of the 48 Council members of the ITU.
The Council is the Union’s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences. Its role is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues to ensure that the Union’s activities, policies and strategies fully respond to today’s dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunications environment.
With the onset of COVID 19, the Council was not able to meet physically, so to facilitate the continuity of the operations of the Union, a virtual consultation of Councilors was organized. Matters on the agenda range from operational, strategic and global sectoral issues of interest to the ITU Membership.
Head Teachers ICT Training workshop – November 16-26
The Commission under the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports conducted a two weeklong ICT sensitization-training workshop in Ankole and Acholi sub-regions. This training is intended to equip Head Teachers within the respective regions with ICT skills that will then be incorporated in the school curriculum as a way of promoting digital skilling in schools.
In the past three financial years, the Commission carried out 16 (Sixteen) ICT teacher retooling sessions training 3600 teachers. This financial year 2019/20 the Commission has carried out four retooling sessions for teachers and headteachers, targeting 1,200 teachers.
National Preparatory Committee Meeting on WRC-19 outcomes and introduction to WRC-2023 – November 17, 2020
The Commission participated in the 1st National Preparatory Committee (NPC) meeting to review the outcomes and impact of the implementation of WRC 19 as well as strategize on the planning for the preparation for WRC 23. The NPC brings together all radiocommunication stakeholders within the Country.
WRC is a conference organized by the ITU under the Radiocommunications Directorate to review and, as necessary, revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum as well as geostationary and non-geostationary satellite orbits. This Conference is usually held every three to four years.
ITU DFS Security lab discussions – November 17, 2020
The Commission had its initial engagement with ITU to forge a way forward on the implementation of this initiative whose overall objective is to assess the robustness and safety of Digital financial products and applications.
ITU-T under Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) developed a security lab for testing the security of Digital Financial Services (DFS) applications that are based on USSD, Sim Tool Kit (STK) and Android. The objectives of the lab are as follows.
- Investigate and test the security of DFS applications operating on USSD and STK.
- Investigate and test the security of Android DFS applications.
EACO WP5 Meeting on Spectrum Management conducted – November 17, 2020
As part of its membership obligations, the Commission participated in the East African Communications Organization (EACO) Working Group 5(WG5) meeting to review the agenda Items, strategize and harmonize the preparations for WRC 23.
Working Group 5 is a technical working group focusing on; Broadcasting Development, Spectrum Management & and Media Services Regulations. It brings together regulators, spectrum users, Manufactures, telecom and broadcasting operators from the East African Region.
Addressing and Postcode Systems – November 18, 2020
The Commission participated in a virtual workshop on Addressing and Postcode Systems. The meeting was organized and coordinated by EACO in collaboration with the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU). At this meeting, Uganda and other members of the East African Community presented progress on addressing and postcode systems. All Member States were encouraged to push for postcodes to be incorporated in the National Development Plan of their respective countries. In Uganda, the Ministry of ICT & NG, UCC and Uganda Post Limited were the implementers of the pilot projects
Review of the Consumer Petition – November 19, 2020
In line with the Commission mandate of promoting and safeguarding consumer interests, the Commission received a petition from a consortium of consumer activities. The Petition is currently under review, and response to the petitioners shall be provided in due course.
Media Stakeholders Meeting over the use of Media during the electoral period -November 25, 2020
The Commission and stakeholders in the media and electoral process including; the Electoral Commission, Uganda Media Council (UMC), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Uganda Police Force and Rural Broadcasters Association held a meeting on the guidelines on the use of media during the electoral period.
The Electoral Commission discouraged mass campaign rallies and announced ‘virtual campaigning during elections’ where campaigns are to be conducted majorly through the media in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission in consultation with other stakeholders including the Uganda Media Council, NAB, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and media practitioners developed guidelines for the electoral period as fundamental rules of fair play.
Webinar on complaints data as a tool for consumer protection -Lessons from Uganda -November 25, 2020
The Commission and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) -a research & policy NGO partnered and completed a research project themed “Leveraging on consumer data to monitor/improve consumer protection in mobile services in Uganda”.
The Commission under its consumer protection mandate has among others the aim to enhance the consumer experience through a fast and efficient resolution of consumer complaints, quick identification of emerging digital consumer pain points as well as establishing robust consumer complaint regimes/standards across licensed operators.
To achieve these goals, there is need for an intimate appreciation of the nature and type of consumer complaints as well as the speed and efficiency of operator contact centres. Thus, in partnership with IPA, the Commission took a detailed analysis of the consumer complaint dumps of operators to the level of gender age and geo-mapping of the complaints reported. The findings were presented to the industry, stakeholders, regulators etc. through a webinar conference.
ICT for Agriculture programme launched -November 25, 2020
A ground-breaking project that seeks to enhance the adoption of ICTs, improve the content and digital skills for smallholder farmers in Uganda has been launched.
Titled “Enhancing ICT Adoption, Service Delivery, Content and Digital Skills for Smallholder Farmers”, the project is implemented by Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) in collaboration with Eight Tech Consults, supported by the Commission.
Through the Uganda Communications Universal Services Access Fund (UCUSAF) formerly called the Rural Communications Development Fund, the Commission supports several initiatives in health, education, agriculture and private sector, among others, intending to promote uptake of ICTs in the Country. More details here: https://bit.ly/3l8STmm
Stakeholder consultations on several spectrum management tools under development. Ongoing is the re-arrangement of spectrum allocations in the 2100MHz to achieve contiguous allocation, thus, facilitate deployment of wideband technologies and technics. Also, the E-band (71-76/81-86 MHz), is a new band to be open for commercial use. We are consulting on the proposed technical and regulatory provisions aimed at operationalizing the band.