I-Network is an ICT for development (ICT4D) organization that is mainly supported by the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD).

Follow us on Twitter
Dgroup Weekly Roundup: 13th - 19th May, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

1. I-Network’s new FACEBOOK page. Initiated by Margaret Sevume


I-Network invited member to like its new facebook page.


The page needs improvement.

Conclusion/ Remarks

“I propose a little FB ads if you have the budget. Beats Google ads or advertising on websites. & always remember to remind those on the email list to checkout & like the facebook page.”

“Awareness of the service and by responses of those that visit more are encouraged to visit, comment, advice and in this way improve and promote. (Generate more activity)”

2. National IDs. Initiated by Margaret Sevume

Ugandan citizens are to pay for their own national identity cards.


“The first ID given is always free but you can pay for the lost or stolen ID when you’re processing again. That is what other countries do. I stand to be corrected.”


“This is because an additional Shs 111bn is needed to revive the project.”

“Determining people who cannot afford to pay will be complicated.”

“The only glitch is Ugandans having to pay for the cards yet "NSSF" has that money.”

“Selling national IDs will distort population figures. A villain will buy several IDs from different villages/ districts to facilitate his criminal activities. The temptation to inflate the cost, or to sell to non-residents will be too much for some administrators to resist”

Conclusion/ Remarks

Will a national ID serve a universal purpose?

Those who misappropriated the funds for this project should be made to refund it.

“The government does not NEED to charge for the cards just a few adjustments here and there can avail the money from within our economy.”

“Whether Government should charge for ID cards is a no brainier, obviously Yes. The price may be the issue but whether or not to charge should not be the bone of contention.”

“The government NEEDS to charge for the cards for there are very few frail nationals who actually pay taxes.”

“The goal of this project is to provide identification nationally, not for a business to make a profit off Ugandans. At this juncture 300bn has been sank into this process....can it be accounted for? Can we see the ID’s?? Can we see the data base? Before we ask anyone to pay can we see what we have paid for so far because if there is no value historically then let us not tell ourselves lies that our future funds will shine (more likely disappear)”

3. Red-pepper. Initiated by John K. Kyakuwa

Red-pepper ought to update its website more often?


“Monetizing content in this age shouldn’t be a big problem. One can integrate it with online API’s like JPesa that works with credit/debit cards & Mobile money solutions across board. Or even work with an SMS content Provider like SMS Media to provide an SMS solution where you SMS a keyword to a short code.”


“Red-pepper takes almost over 48 hours to update its online information. Please style up.”

“Figuring out how to have a dedicated paying readership for any online news site has become one of the trickiest tasks for many a media firm worldwide.”

“The problem is that we are moving to a trend where folks want to access the content as it happens for FREE…”

Conclusion/ Remarks

“It's an editorial decision on how frequent regular updates should be.”

“If they are not maintaining the website regularly then I don't think the web ratings are as important to the management as they should be.”

“Red-pepper's policy is articles appear online after 1 or 2 days after they have appeared in the print media.”

“Being a tabloid IS NOT an excuse for not publishing online in time.”

“In my opinion, I think digital would be the first to be updated then you print since it is easy to update a digital file than a hard copy......  ”

4. Calling China and abroad. Initiated by Alex Nyika

Apparently calling abroad is cheaper than making local calls.


“To my surprise, I have discovered it's cheaper to make a call to China than calling a local line. I have tried this on MTN and Airtel. How can this be?  ”


“For some network it is cheaper to make calls to it from another network than from within the same network....”

It is more expensive to call neighbouring countries than it is China. “Are the Chinese subsidizing terminating calls or Our Neighbours just want to keep margins for our calls.”

“It is more expensive locally sending a text message than it is to make a call. If I have a quick question to ask on per second, it is cheaper for me to call than send a message.”

Conclusion/ Remarks

5. UCC’s notice. Initiated by Albert Mucunguzi

What is UCC’s intended message in the recent public notice regarding coverage on Gen. David Sejusa. (Newspaper article)


“If somebody complains to the UCC, it is under obligation to act. The government complained that the media is trying to create insecurity, which is unacceptable. If the material broadcast could cause insecurity, we shall withdraw the licence,” UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi told the Daily Monitor.


“I find the statement made by the UCC Executive Director (“If somebody complains to the UCC, it is under obligation to act…”) really absurd considering how the UCC has always looked the other way whenever the public complains about errant TELECOM firms and other service providers like SMS content peddlers and ISPs...”

“According to legal brains trust (the guys that took UCC on for SIM registration), as UCC does not presently have nor has it had board for a while now, it is not properly constituted and cannot therefore legally issue any lawful order.”

“As regards Godfrey Mutabazi he is still an acting/interim Executive Director a position not provided for in the law, which raises the question whether he acting individually has the mandate to do anything considering the Court ruling in the Baku/IGG case where court found as acting IGG Baku could not issue any lawful orders.”

“I have maximum respect for UCC and its work. However am extremely saddened to the core when they only want to act when the media houses be it Print, Audio or Visual airs political issues. As a Parent & Guardian, it’s totally sad when one sees the openly displayed pornography, nudity and obscene pictures, illustrations and writings in the Print or TVs today. Where are the standards / guidelines for material to be aired or printed?

Where is the moral / upright feeling in UCC's work?”

Conclusion/ Remarks

“UCC seems to be exercising their censorship muscle…”

“UCC should be coming with figures and clauses for such a communication. They need to pull up their socks. Public communications are nothing to be taken lightly. A more concrete statement should have been passed on with backing info.”

6. Warid – Airtel merger. Initiated by Daniel Ninsiima

Are things really  getting better with this new merger?


“I just have been informed that customers on Warid's pakakast and CMB profiles can now call Airtel numbers for free as well. I have just tried it and it works. Things are for sure getting better”

“Interesting now Airtel's KIKA (promotion) is also being applied to WARID numbers.”


“Take note that starting next week the tariffs are changing for CMB to a higher cost more than 20,000/=. So in this marriage the children are suffering.”

Conclusion/ Remarks

“What are the ramifications of the pricing increments on the six month and one year plans on Warid which were already paid up?”

7. ICTAU launch. Initiated by Albert Mucunguzi

Uganda ICT Association was launched and live updates were made available.


“Right now you have only the live blog and tweet feeds.”

“At the next event we WILL have a live video feed - and it's sooner than you think.”


There was no live feed of the launch.

Conclusion/ Remarks

“Membership is quite straightforward and open to all of us - this association has grown out of the I-Network forum so we simply need to go through the formalities.

See: http://www.facebook.com/ictau and http://ictau.ug/membership-fees-structure-and-benefits/

“ICTAU is and will be an Association run for and by the members with the interests of the fraternity as a whole… Lobbying and advocacy is on the list through the development and implementation of partnerships with stakeholders, and the engagement with government stakeholders is already under way and will continue on issues that members will put forward periodically.”

“If there any member right now in Uganda or abroad we shall avail and make sure their fees will be paid in the easiest and most convenience method they would wish to use including all those below (such as mobile money, paypal, swift codes, bitcoin...)

“Can we also plan/ budget for grounds visits country wide, promo visits to let people targeted or not know about the association?”

8. Win-win for Airtel and Warid- Loss to customer base. Initiated by Nicholas Nashimolo

The customers stand to loose


“Calls between these networks are now "on-net". This means that they had to make some offers co-relate like 25min of Kiika and Pakalast giving you access to 7.2 million people, the combo that for 2000 shs gives you 75 minutes, SMS and Mb of data and so on.”

“The numbers will stay the same.”


“MTN & Airtel are likely to pursue hiking prices + increasing margins unless another player comes up to threaten their foundation.”

“BTW Airtel already scrapped the 60MB for 500/= since Warid was the only player giving it a tough race at this level.”

“As soon as the other day, pakalast for 1000/= is 25 minutes instead of 35 that was; Internet 500 for 50mb instead of 60mb and 2000/= is 200mb instead of 300mb that was.”

“Need I remind you that Airtel did not, as a matter of fact, attract the 2.8m subscribers? And there lies the devil. These subscribers were not 'attracted' out of innovation but are 'prisoners of war'. They knew about Airtel's offerings but chose to stay on Warid for its endless freebies which Airtel has failed to keep up with in the first month of their 'capture'.”

Conclusion/ Remarks

“Warid positioned itself for a buyout since the start and their exit strategy has been successfully executed.”

“If this was Warid's intention in the first place what would be so wrong with it? Any business man will acquire an asset use it for a while and sell it while it still has value if he has to...who has a problem with that model? The only issue would be if there was no regulation of such activity. But UCC has put to rest these fears.”

“Please visit the social media pages for more information.”

“I beg to disagree with the assumption that Airtel could soon become the market leader based on the mere fact that Airtel's new subscriber base of 7.2m is within the range/ closing in on that of the market leader's (MTN) 7.8m. My basic understanding of a market leader is one that has the largest percentage of total sales revenue of a market (not necessarily represented by subscriber base but their 'spend'). Further, a market leader often dominates its competitors in customer LOYALTY, distribution, coverage, IMAGE, perceived value, price, profit and promotional spending!”

“Airtel needs to retain the Warid 'vibe' as much as possible so that there is no room for opportunity left for another telecom co. to pick up from where Warid left off.”

“To the debate I believe it's not just a matter of loading airtime, data, sms or Mobile Money but the larger question around who is more committed to Uganda, Uganda's development and who really has remained consistent in the larger scheme of things, who's brand has remained true to character, who has served Uganda both in commercial and social investment and who seems to have a more longer term to serve Uganda beyond the towns and villages; it's very clearly MTN and it will continue to be MTN. I doubt MTN is in this for the short-haul!”



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.


Joomla Templates and Joomla Extensions by JoomlaVision.Com

Add comment

Security code


To participate in ICT for development discussions, subscribe to our mailing list by sending an email with your full name, country of residence, job title and address to admin@i-network.or.ug

You could also fill out the form on Dgroup: I-Network Uganda.

More information on the mailing list can be found at http://www.dgroups.org

Follow I-Network updates on: