Weekly Review 5th -23th October 2020 -Highlights of the Commission’s engagements for the period

The International Regulators’ Forum:

The Ag. Executive Director, Mrs Irene K. Sewankambo was a panellist at the annual International Regulators’ Forum from October 5-7, 2020. The event hosted virtually by the International Institute of Communications (IIC) in conjunction with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.

The 3-day event brought together regulators from America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa to discuss three core themes; Communications Infrastructure, Consumer Protection and Content Regulation.

The 2020 Regional Development Forum:

The Commission participated at an online 2020 Regional Development Forum (RDF) for Africa from October 6-7, 2020. This event was organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) with the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Zambia and the national ICT regulator ZICTA under the theme, “Digital transformation to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs – Digital development, partnership and funding,” the 2020 RDF focused on exploring digital development activities, projects, initiatives and opportunities.

The RDF provides an opportunity for dialogue between the ITU African Regional Office, the decision-makers of the ITU Member States, Sector Members, Regional and International Organisations; among others. This high-level forum provides a benchmarking platform and sharing ideas on regulatory aspects, which are then locally transformed and applied in achieving the development of a robust communications sector in Uganda premised on international standards.

Uganda was elected the Vice-Chair of the RDF, and as such is scheduled to host the 2021 RDF

Commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child with the Girl Takeover of the Office of the UCC Executive Director:

In collaboration with Plan International, the Commission took part in the “Girl Take Over” event under the theme “Girls get equal freedom online.” The Office of the Executive Director was symbolically taken over by a 16-year-old Fatia Naigaga who at the end of her reign highlighted the challenges facing girls’ experiences online as well as called up the relevant stakeholders to rally behind this campaign and do more to create a safer space online as girls harness the opportunities of connectivity. Visit the UCC blog

Commemorating World Postal Day:

The Commission joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Postal day under a national Theme of “Delivering more than Mail; How the Postal sector has weathered the Covid 19 Storm.” The Commission ran a publication in the dailies on the same. 

ATU WTDC-21 preparatory meeting:

The Commission participated in the 1st ATU World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC-12) Preparatory meetings from Sunday, 11th -13th  October

Online Workshop on the framework of the GE84 Plan Optimisation project for Africa:

The Commission participated in the Online Workshop on the framework of the GE84 Plan Optimisation project for Africa 12th -14th October

EACO Sustainable E-waste Management:

The Commission participated in the East African Communications Organization (EACO) webinar on Sustainable E-Waste management. The workshop aimed at evaluating the status of implementation of the regional strategy on e-waste management by EACO member states; proposing, dissecting and strengthening sustainable mechanisms for successful implementation of the regional strategy on e-waste management; and identifying and proposing strategies towards enhancing stakeholder collaboration and partnership for sustainable e-waste management in the region.

This event was followed by the virtual celebration of the 3rd International E-waste Management Day celebrated on 14th October. The Commission joined the virtual celebrations with an online presence.

Webinar for Africa under the theme, “Towards the Development of National  Digital Skills Strategies: Digital Skills Assessment Guidebook.”

The Commission participated in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) webinar on Development of Digital Skills Assessment Guidebook for Africa on 14th October.

ATU Africa Innovation Challenge 2020:

The Commission participated in the virtual ATU Africa Innovations Challenge 2020 Awards on 14th October. The Awards followed a call for entries to all Member States in August 2020. The winner of this challenge was from Egypt, who walked away with UDS 5,000 (United Stated Dollars Five Thousand Only). The winning challenge was setting up a virtual lab to aid students in practical lessons.

URA Meeting:

The Commission hosted a meeting with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on 14th October, in a move to enhance collaboration between the two institutions. The Commissioner-General Mr John Musinguzi Rujoki lead a delegation of URA senior management and were received by the Acting Executive Director Eng. Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo and her team at UCC House Bugolobi, and they discussed various aspects of mutual significance in the social and economic development of the country. 

Closing Digital Gender Gap in Uganda:

The World Wide Web Foundation in partnership with the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), the Centre for Multilateral Affairs (CfMA) and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) have been working together to improve the status of women in the digital economy in Uganda – specifically working to ensure women’s rights online are protected, upheld and promoted in the digital space just as it should be in the offline environment.

The Web Foundation, therefore, working with the Uganda Communications Commission and Women’s Rights Online Network produced a report on Women’s Rights Online: Closing the gender gap for a more equal world! The global report was conducted across 4 countries, including Ghana, Columbia, Indonesia and Uganda.

The report was launched on the 12th of October 2020. The Commission participated in a Twitter chat on the day of the launch organised by WOUGNET and the CfMA.  This was preceded by an online discussion via a webinar to explore further, highlight and interrogate the key issues and findings emanating from the research.

Registration of vessels:

The Commission on October 15, 2020, attended a meeting alongside the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and the Ministry of Transport on the registration of vessels.

UBC broadcasting operations:

The Commission on 15th October 2020 held a meeting with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) regarding the regularisation of the latter’s FM broadcasting operations.

Online Workshop on Postal Services in Times of Crisis:

Following the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) organised an online workshop held on October 15th 2020 to provide the postal sector with tools to manage any form of crisis. The workshop specifically aimed at identifying the challenges faced by the sector during the pandemic; assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the solution/responses (strategies) adopted; examining ways and means of anticipating future crises, and; sharing experiences. Participants included the Uganda Communications Commission and Uganda Post Limited. 

Online consultation of African Members of the UPU:

A Commission participated in an online meeting hosted by the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) on the 19th October 2020 in preparation for the Exceptional Council of Administration of the UPU, to agree on the way forward after the inevitable postponement of the UPU Congress that was scheduled to take place in Cote de Voire in August 2020. Africa has a common position to which Uganda is a contributing member.

ITU Study Group 5 meeting:

The Commission participated in the ITU T Study group 5 – Environment, Climate Change and Circular Economy from 19th to 21st October 2020. Uganda is specifically following on the Human Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from ICTs.  This is in line with the other local initiatives being undertaken by the Research and ICT department on EMF concerns and compliance obligations in the communications sector.  At the meeting, ICNIPP guidelines 2020 were brought force to supersede the ICNIPP 1998 and 2010 guidelines.  This means that from now on, the methodology for compliance assessment is going to be updated to align with the 2020 guidelines.  Uganda Chairs the African group of the study group.

EACO/GSMA Spectrum Management Workshop:

The Commission participated in the 5G and Spectrum management on 22nd October 2020 aimed at broadly sharing regional experiences, perspectives and technical undertakings concerning 5G. The Ag Executive Director, Eng. Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo represented as one of the lead discussants at the workshop. She presented an insightful regulator perspective on Spectrum for 5G & TDD Synchronization.

MDA’s retreat on support to sector planning and gender and equity issues in the Programme action plans:

The Commission participated in a five-day residential workshop organised by the National Planning Authority, Equal Opportunities Commission and UN Women in Entebbe about mainstreaming gender participation in the ICT programmes. This is in line with the Digital Transformational Programme under the National Development Plan and also cognizant of the global efforts to reduce the gender digital divide.

Meeting with the Electoral Commission: 

The Commission hosted an engagement with the Electoral Commission and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to review and harmonise aspects of using Outdoor Public Address Systems (Bizindalo) as a means for electoral education and campaigning during the forthcoming election period.

Telecom Operator Engagements:

The Commission conducted meetings with Telecom Operators, including MTN, Airtel, Africell, UTL, Lycamobile and Smile Telecom in a bid to strengthen the regulator- operator relationship and align engagement processes that improve the protection of consumer interests.

Consumer Complaints Research:

The Commission working with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), concluded a comprehensive study of consumer complaints in the telecommunications sector submitted through 2019/2020, to inform appropriate and evidence-based regulatory interventions. In line with the same and working in conjunction with Busara Centre and Financial Sector Deepening, Uganda, we have concluded a comprehensive study of Digital transparency and consumer consent in the ICT sector to facilitate consumer empowerment. Both studies are at validation.

Commission Corporate Strategy:

The Commission is undertaking the development of the next five (5) year business strategic plan and currently finalising the Tier two phrase of the strategy. We have now developed new corporate Core values i.e. Excellence, Professionalism, Integrity, and Commitment, and strategic results along the following strategic themes; Strategic Partnerships; Service Excellence; Operational Excellence and a Great place to work.

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