The Minister of ICT & National Guidance, Hon. Judith Nabakooba has appointed a new Executive Director for the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda. This follows the conclusion of the 10-year tenure for James Saaka, the Executive Director.
The newly appointed Executive Director, Dr. Hatwib Mugasa, holds a Ph.D. from Louisiana Tech University, USA.
The appointment comes on the heels of successful completion of the legally authorized 10-year tenure by the outgoing ED James Saaka that will officially expire in August 2020. Under the steadfast leadership of Saaka, the authority has registered tremendous strides in digitizing the nation.
The government has completed all four phases of the National Backbone Infrastructure (ICT backbone), laying 4,000 kilometers of Fiber, extending to 49 districts, and connecting 480 Government offices. The recently launched last mile project will connect 1,000 more sites across 58 districts to the network is underway. The seven major border posts of Uganda with its neighboring countries have all been connected to the ICT backbone thus facilitating regional integration, cooperation, communication, and trade with our neighboring countries.
Mr. Saaka has been at the front of government’s deliberate effort to decrease the cost of internet. As a result, government saw a drop in internet prices from USD&1,200, in 2013, to USD$300 in 2016. In 2017 there was a further drop to USD$70 per Mbps and is projected to drop further to USD$50 by the end of 2020. The NITA-U cost of internet is 71% cheaper than what the private sector charges in Uganda.
It is pertinent to note that this influenced a drop in market led prices for internet to USD$300 per Mbps, the lowest in the East African region. All these efforts in astutely managing the NBI/ICT backbone have resulted in government realizing revenue of USD$ 20 million from the operation of the NBI/ICT Backbone.
“I am honored and thankful that H.E President Museveni, the ICT Ministers I have had the joy to serve under and the NITA Board, who have given me an opportunity to play a significant role in changing lives of Ugandans for years to come,” said Mr. Saaka.
He concluded his remarks by thanking the team with whom for 10 years he has worked tirelessly to digitize the country. “The NITA-U Board of Directors, Management team and the entire staff of NITA-U welcome Dr. Hatwib Mugasa to NITA-U,” he concluded. PC