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Uganda: Phase 4 of National Fibre Backbone Project Launched In West Nile And Karamoja

On 11 May 2019, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni officially launched phase four of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure and e-Government Infrastructure (NBI/ EGI) Project in the West Nile and Karamoja regions. The government of Uganda through the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) with funding from the World Bank, is implementing the national backbone project to connect districts and towns across the country.

According to a government press release, phase four of the NBI project has commenced and will extend to the districts of Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Yumbe, Koboko, Adjumani, Katakwi and the border points of Oraba, Vurra and Mpondwe. It will also provide new international connections to neighbouring countries of South Sudan and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as helping position Uganda as a regional communication hub and bring public services closer to people, with 100 government offices in the areas of West Nile and Karamoja to be connected. The Minister of Information, Communications and Technology, Frank Tumwebaze, thanked the World Bank and Huawei for connecting West Nile and Karamoja.

The first phase of the NBI project comprised 198-km of fibre network connecting Kampala (the capital), Mukono, Jinja, Bombo and Entebbe. The second phase comprised 1,400-km of fibre network connecting Busia, Tororo, Mbale, Malaba, Kumi, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Elegu, Masindi, Kyenjojo, Fort Portal, Kasese, Bushenyi and Mbarara. The third phase of 756-km comprises the following fibre routes: Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara – Katuna (border with Rwanda), Masaka – Mtukula (border with Tanzania), Masindi – Hoima – Kyenjojo. In January 2017, NITA-U announced that the third phase of the NBI project had been completed in December 2016 (see Uganda: NITA-U Completes Phase 3 of National Fibre Backbone, Phases 4 and 5 Planned).

NITA-U say that phase 4 of the NBI has commenced and is being implemented during the 2018/ 2019 financial year (see also Uganda: NITA-U Evaluates Bids for Phase 4 of National Fibre Backbone Project). In August 2017, NITA-U issued a tender to implement phase 4 of the NBI/EGI project which includes the supply and installation of 842-km of aerial optical fibre cable to extend the coverage of the National Data Transmission Backbone Infrastructure to ten more towns of Moroto, Katakwi, Karuma, Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani including three border points of Mpondwe, Vurra and Oraba. In addition, NITA-U shows a further 2,000-km of proposed routes in a fifth phase described as “under funding review” (see Uganda: NITA-U Plans Additional 2,000-Km Extension To National Fibre Backbone Project).

Source: State House Uganda, NITA-U

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© Hamilton Research Ltd 2019.

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