By Julius Mugaga/Umoja Standard.
Kampala: Hon. Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku, Uganda’s Minister of State for Information Technology and National Guidance (ICT & NG) noted that government is aware that such businesses use a lot internet as their channel of trade and they need costs to reduce in order for them to favorably carry out transactions.
It is against this background that Mr. Kabbyanga revealed that in the next six months or a year, government is looking forward to reduce internet costS to about UD$20mbs/sec.
Important to note.
Currently the cost internet stands at US$35mbs/sec from recent US$70mbs/sec.
E-Trade gained reputation during the Covid-19 pandemic which restricted physical movement of the public, Online business chipped in to cover the gap by delivering goods and services to one’s door step.
This influenced cropping up of many of such businesses in the country that have today united to form a forum codenamed E-Trade and Startups Association of Uganda in order to enhance a common goal.
Notable members include Safe Boda, Jumia Uganda, Tugende, Watu, KACITA, TUKO Super App and others.
E-Trade and Startups are enterprises that use the power of internet to drive the economy.
He revealed that some elements use emergency of E-Trade businesses to commit cybercrimes by hacking into systems. He said that the Ministry has issued rules and regulations to track this as well as creating systems to detect such acts before they occur.
He informed that the government is in negotiations with Facebook to resume operation in Uganda through UCC but said, it will operate here under Ugandan laws.
“Uganda is a sovereign state with its own laws therefore if Facebook is to operate here, they should obey our laws. If our laws say that it should pay trading license then it must comply”. Mr. Kabbyanga highlighted.
Responding to complaints from members of the Association on Uganda Communications Commission’s move to obstruct their works especially those in courier services, Minister asked them to write to ICT Ministry which will engage UCC to harmonize the matter since the tribunal hasn’t yet been instituted.
E-business proprietors pose for a group photo with ICT Minister Hon. Kabbyanga (Seated 2nd R Front). Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
Ronnie Kawamara the President of E-Trade and Startups Association of Association told media that their goal is driving digital revolution in trade working together to tackle very difficult challenges like internet, policy, infrastructure and others so that they can enhance an environment that fosters e-trade.
He pointed that it has been so difficult realizing needs that suit e-business independently and it is the reason they decided to build an ecosystem together with government that fosters the growth of e-business.
He cited that in the last 5 years e-business contributed to Uganda’s economy about US$300million but believes they can boost this by realizing over US$150million every year.
He said that since they have come together, will be able to educate the public about e-trade services as the world is heading to 4th industrial revolution.
Papa Thomson Ricky the Co-Founder and Director of Safe Boda Company stated that the merger was reached at due to common challenges e-businesses face.
He cited an example of Safe Boda business which was paralyzed during the Covid-19 pandemic as it was it was described illegal to transport passengers on Boda Boda but believed the network will create power of demand for suitable solution.
He revealed that increase of tax on internet and ban of Facebook was a serious challenge to e-business which he believed can be solved using a collective voice and engaging with government.