CALL FOR BUSINESS PLAN PROPOSALS FOR THE UCC/RCDF GRANT FOR WIFI HOTSPOTS AT FOUR BORDER POSTS

Introduction

Uganda Communications Commission through the Rural Communications Development Fund has launched a call for business plan proposals under a grant to cater for WIFI Hotspots at four border points across the country.

Section 3 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013 mandates the Commission to administer and run a fund for the development of rural communications and information and communication technology in the country. In line with the RCDF III programme thematic area of Broadband Connectivity and Access, funds have been set aside for the financial year 2019/20 to be utilized under a collaborative grant framework between UCC/RCDF and a suitable partner to establish and operate four (4) WIFI hotspots.

Background

The RCDF III prioritizes Broadband connectivity and access as one of the programs for funding and implementation of projects. This is also further supported by both the ICT Sector Investment Plan (ICTSIP) and the National Broadband Strategy (NBS) which are very specific that RCDF should now target Universal access to broadband as the key objective.

People in transit have communication needs that can be fulfilled through access to public Wi-Fi hotspots as long as they own a Wi-Fi capable device.

Since Wi-Fi doesn’t require a SIMCARD or existence of a subscription relationship with a service provider, it is most suitable to use in an area where people are in transit.

UCC through the RCDF would like to contribute to the fight against COVID -19 by addressing communications needs of people transiting through the border posts.

UCC/RCDF is thus seeking to collaborate with a suitably qualified stakeholder with the requisite qualifications, competencies and experience as per the eligibility criterion and statement of requirements below to supply and operate Wi-Fi hotspots at four border posts.

Project Objectives

  1. To provide free WIFI at a speed of 5Mbps for a maximum connection time of 1 hour per person. Once utilized and used, a good experience will subsequently spur market demand which will drive uptake of Broadband services.
  2. To enable broadband Services usage in communication, trade, health (including mitigation efforts in preventing the spread of COVID -19) at the border posts provided with WIFI.
  3. To make it easier for people transiting through the border posts to communicate and access information through the internet.
  4. To improve social services and ease of doing business at the border, thereby leading to social-economic transformation.
  5. To Increase e-government and e-commerce at the border posts

Targeted Locations

  1. Busia (Busia district, Uganda-Kenya border)
  2. Mpondwe (Kasese district, Uganda – D.R Congo border)
  3. Lwakhakha (Manafwa district, Uganda – Kenya border)
  4. Katuna (Kabale district, Uganda – Rwanda border)

Eligibility of Applicants

General Criteria

  1. Be legally established in Uganda
  2. Be in satisfactory financial health and have adequate financial systems to report to the RCDF as shall be required.
  3. Hold a Public Service Provider (PSP) License authorized to operate in the respective areas.
  4. Have experience in executing and maintaining services in rural Uganda.
  5. Have a clear strategic Plan incorporating such Projects
  6. Shall ensure the sustainability of the technology used.
  7. Shall fulfil the technical specifications which are attached as Annex 1

Preference

The Fund will give preference to applicants whose Business Plan proposals highlight the following:-

  1. Clear Financial and material contribution from the applicant over and above the grant amount.
  2. Entities that have qualified human resources or have the ability to outsource to competent human resource groups to implement the proposed project within the proposed timeframe.
  3. Strategies that minimize Project expenses while meeting objectives.
  4. Strategies that provide for greater focus to project execution in the remote and challenging environments (e.g. low or sparsely populated areas, difficult terrain, lack of access or remoteness to the power grid, limited infrastructure)
  5. Solutions that require the lowest grant (subsidy) for a specific area shall be considered first, all other requirements constant.

Assessment Criteria

The grant applications will be assessed based on a 3-stage process (Administrative, Technical and Financial) but also incorporating the four equally-weighted, all-encompassing criteria:-

  1. Technical capacity to deliver – whether an applicant has the capability and experience to achieve the objectives of the project.
  2.  Financial capacity to deliver – whether the applicant has got the financial capacity to implement the project.
  3. Ability to meet project priorities – how well the service meets the priorities of the grant project.
  4. Ability to meet community needs – how well the service meets the needs of the community and will make a difference to the target locations.
  5. Value for money – whether the cost of the services represents fair expenditure, relative to the outputs and outcomes to be delivered.

Risk Assessment

The RCDF Assessment team will carry out a Risk assessment of the indicated and non-indicated risks. The assessment based on the risks assessed will consider the totality of an applicant’s submission in assessing whether a potential engagement would involve low, medium, high, or extreme risk to UCC/RCDF.

Required Applicant’s Legal Documents

  1. Legal Name – the name that identifies the applicant for legal, administrative and other official purposes;
  2. Memorandum and Articles of Association
  3. Trading Name – the name used by the applicant for commercial trading, publicity and provision of services, which may differ from their legal name;
  4. Head Office Address – the registered place of business and any other regional and service branch locations.
  5. Postal Address – the address to which correspondence should be directed;
  6. Contact Details – the name, position, phone and email contact for an authorized representative of the Applicant.
  7. Audited Financial statements for the previous three years
  8. Code of Ethical Conduct in Business for Grant applicants.
  9. The signatory should have valid powers of attorney which must be submitted with the grant application.

Business Plan Requirements

  1. Project Description and Objectives of the Project
  2. Experience in Similar Projects
  3. Feasibility Analysis of the Project
  4. Relationship to RCDF Strategy
  5. SMART Project Outputs and Outcomes
  6. Location and Target Communities
  7. Technology features and selection (if relevant)
  8. Capacity building / Training features to ensure success
  9. Implementation Schedule and Length
  10. Milestones
  11. Project Implementation Budget
  12. Partner Contributions
  13. Gender Analysis of the Project
  14. Sustainability plan of the project
  15. Ethics and Transparency
  16. Risk Management Plan
  17. Monitoring and Evaluation of the Project
  18. Any other additional Business plan information relevant to the assessment criterion.

Application Timeline

The grant application is open effective 15th – 26th June 2020.

A Pre – grant Application Zoom meeting will be held:

When: Jun 19, 2020, 10:00 AM Nairobi

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIlfumprzwtGNwJhTq7agr2wKeyuxZJ56Us

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For any required clarification or guidance on the grant application process, please contact telephone +256414339099 or email emuyomba@ucc.co.ug.

Download CODE OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR APPLICANTS

Download Technical Specifications Provision For WiFi hotspot

Final Applications will be submitted in softcopy to the email address registry@ucc.co.ug, and three hard copies delivered in hard copy to the UCC head office in Bugolobi addressed as per below:-

The Executive Director

Uganda Communications Commission

Plot 42-44, Spring Road Bugolobi

P.O.Box 7376, Kampala

Uganda

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