Former ICT Minister, Nyombi Thembo, has officially taken charge as the new Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), succeeding Irene Kaggwa Ssewankambo, who served in an acting capacity for the past three years.
In his inaugural address, Thembo expressed gratitude to Ssewankambo for her leadership and pledged to build upon the foundation laid by his predecessor. He highlighted the significance of the new licensing regime for telecom companies, emphasizing its potential to address connectivity challenges in Uganda.
"Previously, telecoms have been designing their networks based on population coverage, but now the new licensing regime has changed this. The obligation for telecom companies to cover 90% of the geographical coverage of Uganda will help solve the problem of connectivity," Thembo stated.
The new UCC boss outlined his top priority as ensuring digital inclusion in the country, aiming for meaningful connectivity, specifically pushing for at least 3G network coverage nationwide by 2025/26.
"While connectivity is still currently low, the biggest problem is not connectivity itself. Even where there is connectivity, usage is still very low. What drives usage is relevant content. We should focus on content. We are looking at content very seriously as the regulator," Thembo explained.
Addressing consumers and stakeholders, Thembo emphasized their crucial role in driving the relevance of UCC. He committed to stronger collaboration to realize the socioeconomic transformational value of ICT.
Thembo also pledged to maintain a collaborative relationship with the private sector, recognizing its essential role in the ICT ecosystem. He assured that UCC would not disrupt business models and urged the private sector to adhere to regulations for the delivery of quality, safe, and affordable communication services to the people of Uganda.
With a five-year contract beginning on December 1, 2023, Nyombi Thembo aims to drive innovation, regulatory excellence, and top-notch services for Uganda in his new role as the Executive Director of UCC. His appointment follows the end of Irene Kaggwa Ssewankambo's acting tenure, who had taken over after the expiration of Godfrey Mutabazi's contract in 2020.