By Jay Tumwesige
Government through the national Information Technology Authority (NITA), has been lauded for expanding access to internet in government agencies in Fort Portal municipality, Kabarole district.
While meeting the newly inaugurated board members of NITA last week in Fort Portal, the Vice Chancellor of Mountains of the Moon University Prof. John Kasenene said that the expansion of internet services at the institution had greatly helped students and lecturers carry out their research on time.
“Previously we had challenges with Internet but when NITA connected us to the national backbone internet, services have been made easy and research is being carried out on time,” Kasenene said.
The newly inaugurated board of National Information Technology Authority- Uganda (NITA-U) toured the western ring of the National Backbone infrastructure. The Board, which is headed by John Musinguzi, conducted the tour to assess the impact of the National Backbone Infrastructure to citizens.
At Fort Portal high court the ICT Administrator Grace Mbabazi said that the reliable internet was helping the judges and court users to carry out research about crucial matters.
“Previously court officials would waste a lot of time moving up and down in internet cafes but ever since we were connected to internet a lot has changed and everything is moving on very well,” Mbabazi said.
Spurning over 1200kms of fibre, the western ring provides fast and reliable internet to Masaka, Mutukula, Katuna, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Kabale, Hoima and Ntugamo. Local Governments, Hospitals, universities and courts of Judiciary are some of the beneficiaries.
James Saaka, the executive director of NITA, said that the National ICT backbone project is the cornerstone for the development of eGovernment services in the country.
Saaka said that they had extended the services upcountry and some crucial Government offices have already been connected.
According to NITA, with a significant country reach, the National Data Backbone Infrastructure which spurns approximately 3,000 km of fiber optic across the country, has since provided connectivity for 440 MDA Ministries, Departments & Agencies /Local Governments and special user groups such as hospitals, educational institutions and Business Processing Outsourcing centres.
Saaka said Uganda has achieved regional connectivity by extending the NBI/EGI to regional border points; Busia, Mutukula, Elegu, Katuna and Malaba over the ICT backbone.
“We are glad we came on this tour; we are able to see the impact NITA-U is making on society. We were able to see the gaps which will help set our goals aboard,” said Musinguzi, the board chair.