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Dgroup Weekly Roundup: 27th May - 2nd June, 2013. PDF Print E-mail

1. Local content. Initiated by Charles Batmubuze

Broadcasting quotas notice.


“70% of the programming must be local content.  Wow!  That's going to put pressure on broadcasters to innovatively create not just content which is "local" or localized, but one which is also interesting and compelling to view(the hard part) lest they lose viewers and hence revenue.”

“The Hostel (a local TV drama) is already proof of this possibility, and Kenya has numerous other examples.”

“There’s already a national creative economy committee set up as part of the Presidential Investor roundtable and the Office of the Prime Minister is taking the political supervision. The committee is working on a national strategy to develop the creative industries as well as defining the creative economy. It is probable that government will in future financial years commit substantial amounts of money to boost local people to create many things including broadcast content.”

“That quota was discussed with the National Association Broadcasters & they give it a nod.”


“My concern is that if the targets are not prudently set, systematically analysed, they may yield poor quality content that could make Ugandan programmes less appealing to viewers and listeners.”

UCC’s Uganda Film Festival & film makers consistently lamented that TV’s don’t give them the light of day, even when they take extra care to produce great quality work. Minister Rugunda cited this as one of the reasons for this push.

Conclusion/ Remarks

“Most productions across the world are based on the local contents happening, look at scandal- based on the American politics.”

“There should also be a deliberate effort to support the Kuksabiny to produce movies in their local dialect, so perhaps the tax waiver on film production materials and equipment should be seriously followed up provided such local productions are followed through.”

Would it not be delivered by a second UBC channel (UBC 2) with full time local content, in all local languages, at subsidized rates etc.?  Maybe even some censorship (on type of content at the right time) just like BBC has a Swahili channel and other channels for different types of programmes?

This way, private TV stations still maintain their own broadcasting models.

2. Mobile number portability. Initiated by Albert Mucunguzi

UCC is reportedly pondering this.


"(During an interview with PC Tech) When prompted on why, therefore, UCC wouldn't introduce MNP to further facilitate such movements by customers between subscribers, Mr. Mutabazi said the commission was still consulting, but felt the problem of poor QoS wasn't as severe as in those other countries such as Nigeria and Rwanda that have recently imposed heave fines on operators.”


Conclusion/ Remarks

“I think MTN is so powerful both in the market and back-end that it influences decisions and following the number of complaints about their services, they would have a huge number of customers moving off their network. They can’t stand that.”

“In reality the penalties in Rwanda have been due to some specific incidents that happened much as they were QoS related so am not certainly sure your statements are 100% correct in relation to the Ugandan context”

3. A national social media monitoring centre. Initiated by John Babirukamu

The minister of security, Muruli Mukasa has said Government is setting up a centre to monitor social media content deemed to be of a security threat to the country.



“It means government recognizes social media as a powerful platform. The problem is if they moderate - but let’s not cross that bridge before we get to it.”


Conclusion/ Remarks

“Is this just not another ploy to clamp down on people’s freedoms?

“Have they not learnt from the Arab spring that if you mess with people’s social media access it can exasperate public anger?”

“Does government have the capacity to do this? With the current government funding issues (Aid cuts et al), is this a priority?”

“Isn’t it cheaper & easier to take on the debate on issues like Kagame does on Twitter than to threaten & clamp down on the people’s discussion forums?”

“Most importantly, do you need a whole centre to monitor possible terrorists like Al-Shabab, Al-Queda et al?”



The views, opinions and assumptions expressed in this document are those of the dgroup members and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of I-Network.

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