The World Bank has approved 200 million U.S. dollars to finance access to high speed, affordable internet, improve the efficiency of digitally-enabled public service delivery, and strengthen digital inclusion in Uganda.
The global financial institution in a statement posted on its website on Thursday said the finances would run the Uganda Digital Acceleration Project.
The project will support the extension of 1,000 km of the national backbone fiber infrastructure and an additional 500 km of fiber optic network links between towns.
The project will also support mobile broadband connections for 900 government administrative units and service centres in underserved areas.
Over 820 Wi-Fi hotspots will be installed in select locations to support access to online services among rural and peril-urban communities.
The World Bank Country Manager for Uganda, Tony Thompson, said that transforming Uganda’s digital infrastructure is an urgent necessity for post-COVID-19 recovery.
“We look forward to the time when all citizens can access high-quality and low-cost internet, public services online, a digital economy driving growth, innovation and job creation,’’ he added.
According to the statement, out of the 200 million dollars, 140 million dollars will be a loan, while 60 million dollars will be a grant.
“The project will help develop shared platforms for ministries, departments, and agencies to efficiently deliver digitally-enabled public services to citizens and businesses throughout the country,’’ the statement said.
These digital platforms, according to the bank, will create the foundations for better resilience and economic recovery by boosting the effectiveness of government e-services.
The e-services include those that can be delivered remotely in a paperless and cashless manner, reducing the need to travel for government services.