In a stride towards bridging the digital divide and fostering sustainable development, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has inaugurated a cutting-edge solar-powered telecom site in Lapono, Agago district. This innovative initiative, spearheaded by UCC’s Uganda Communications Universal Service and Access Fund (UCUSAF), underscores the commitment to address network access gaps in underserved regions while championing environmental responsibility.
The launch ceremony witnessed the presence of key dignitaries including Nyombi Thembo, the Executive Director of UCC, and Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of ICT. Their joint inauguration of the site symbolizes a concerted effort to ensure equitable access to telecommunications services, irrespective of geographical constraints or economic disparities.
Nyombi Thembo emphasized the pivotal role of UCUSAF’s Access Infrastructure Program in targeting areas often overlooked by licensed network service providers. He highlighted how economically viable regions tend to receive priority, leaving rural and hard-to-reach communities underserved. The UCUSAF initiative aims to rectify this imbalance by leveraging sustainable technologies like solar power to extend connectivity to marginalized areas.
“The Government of Uganda remains steadfast in its commitment to providing telecommunication services to all citizens, regardless of their physical location, economic status, and physical abilities,” remarked Nyombi, underscoring the overarching goal of inclusive digital transformation.
The launch event not only showcased the deployment of a solar-powered telecom site but also shed light on future endeavors. Nyombi revealed plans for a new batch of 63 sites to be rolled out by Towerco Africa, signaling continued momentum in expanding telecommunications infrastructure across the country. This strategic partnership underscores collaborative efforts between regulatory bodies and private sector entities to drive comprehensive connectivity initiatives.
The UCUSAF, formerly known as the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF), stands as a testament to Uganda’s proactive approach in leveraging regulatory frameworks to facilitate ICT development. Established in 2002, UCUSAF serves as both a regulatory tool and a semi-autonomous entity dedicated to fostering ICT accessibility and inclusivity.