Government of Uganda has welcomed the regional expansion strategy for the Ugandan and East African markets of SEACOM, the pan-African telecommunications service provider announced at a special networking breakfast event in Kampala on Thursday.

The Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance, Godfrey Kabbyanga Baluku who represented government at the event said that the decision by SEACOM to expand their fibre and infrastructure into the Ugandan market has been made at the time when the country needs it most.

“The expansion of SEACOM’s fibre into the Ugandan market comes when the government and the population need it the most. Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic provided a period of crisis that unveiled the need to expand the digital network in Uganda to enable the services to continue uninterrupted,” Kabbyanga said.

State Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Godfrey Kabbyanga Baluku speaking at SEACOM’s special networking breakfast event in Kampala on Thursday.

“The pandemic also highlighted the importance of technology and the internet for remote working, and some halted critical services like education.
Our Government has committed to improving internet connectivity and the provision of other technological interventions”

“That is why the regional expansion strategy by SEACOM is timely. I want to thank our partners at the Uganda Investment Authority for their excellent work in initiating and supporting measures that enhance investment in Uganda,” he adds.

Mr. Oliver Fortuin- SEACOM Group CEO

The Minister explained that his Ministry has over the years, come up with strategies and innovations to align ICT investments in the various sectors in a manner that will improve the country’s Global ICT indices for purposes of attracting investors.

“This is why the ‘Digital Uganda Vision’ for 2040 aims to empower its citizens to strive to achieve the goals of universal inclusion, sustainable development, economic progress and poverty eradication through digital innovation combining initiatives across multiple sectors,” says Kabbyanga.

He said SEACOM’s expansion to Uganda fits into government’s core priorities in ICT which includes extending the ICT infrastructure network to cover the entire country to ensure digital inclusion and establishing more incubation centers to encourage innovation and creation of local content at regional level.

Others are integrating E-government systems and services to increase uptake of ICT by the public, increasing job creation through ICT Research and Innovation and ensuring that the Information Security System is secure, reliable, resilient and capable of responding to cyber security threats.

“On behalf of the Government of Uganda, we want to congratulate SEACOM on its regional expansion strategy for Uganda. You can count on my Ministry and me to support you where you need help. As you know, I am just a call away,” pledged the Minister.

“It is therefore my singular duty, honour and pleasure to officially kickstart the SEACOM regional expansion in Uganda. We wish SEACOM all the best as it rapidly deploys its new services and infrastructure in response to current and future customer requirements that will enable the growth of Uganda’s economy,” he added.

Mr. Tejpal Bedi, the SEACOM MD for East Africa

On his part, Joseph Kiggundu the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) Director in charge of One Stop Center who represented the UIA Executive Director said as an investment promotion agency, UIA is excited to see SEACOM expand to Uganda.

“SEACOM has taken gigantic strides since it launched Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system along the continent’s Eastern and Southern coasts in 2009 to this day. Today, SEACOM is the preferred partner for African businesses, network carriers, and service providers, thanks to its ownership of Africa’s most extensive ICT data infrastructure,” Kiggundu says.

“On behalf of the Uganda Investment Authority, I am happy to state that we are very excited about the regional expansion strategy that SEACOM is currently undertaking to expand its ICT services further and footprint in Uganda,” he adds.

He explains that SEACOM has made a wise decision to invest in Uganda since the country and the region are growing steadily in population and GDP.

“In Uganda, we have one of the youngest populations globally, with over 70% aged 35 years and below. And guess what our youth like to do concerning your business? Use the internet for their learning, research, studies, gaming and entertainment,” he says.

“Uganda is the most open country in the region for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) thanks to the almost three decades of peace and harmony, incentives to investors and the enabling environment for a stable return on investment”

He also noted that Uganda offers the lowest cost workforce in the region, and labour costs are forecast to grow more slowly than other EAC countries and that the country has a strong natural resource base need by the company.

“As a natural resource base, Uganda has several unexploited mineral deposits & tourism opportunities. It is also one of the richest and most diverse in Africa, with Uganda’s reserves including copper, tungsten, cobalt, columbite-tantalite, gold, phosphate, iron ore, and limestone,” Kiggundu reiterated.

Speaking at the event, Mr Tejpal Bedi, SEACOM MD for East Africa stated that the regional expansion strategy is a testament to SEACOMs commitment to providing competitive end-to-end connectivity and ICT solutions across the region.

“East Africa and Uganda have been an important market for SEACOM ever since we first arrived on the shores of Mombasa in 2009. By officially establishing ourselves in Uganda through proprietary facilities and resources, we are prioritising widespread connectivity and opening up opportunities to work with businesses in search of quality communication services.”

On his part, Mr Oliver Fortuin – SEACOM Group CEO, stated that the regional expansion strategy would see SEACOM Uganda make significant strides in offering added value to their clients by improving on their current physical network.

“As part of the regional expansion, we will increase our fibre footprint within the Ugandan capital city of Kampala and surrounding towns”, he stated at the event.

“The acquisition goes hand in hand with our five-year strategy into expanding operations in the region,” Tej added. “As such, we are very excited about having a greater local presence.”

SEACOM has provided wholesale solutions to Uganda since its inception in 2009 and corporate solutions since 2018. The leading service provider enjoys a large footprint in Uganda’s financial services sector (FSI) and works with government and non-governmental organisations, including those in the education, technology and hospitality sectors.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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