The Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) has officially digitized the Uganda Gazette. This aims to enhance both accessibility and affordability in response to the requirements of the digital age.
For years, the Uganda Gazette, serving as the official repository for legal documents and government records, has been exclusively available in print. However, acknowledging the increasing favor towards digital platforms, the Gazette is now embracing a transformative shift.
Prof. Sudi Nangoli, UPPC Managing Director, says the shift from traditional hardcopy to the online platform aims to enhance accessibility and convenience for all Ugandans.
“We made initial efforts to go digital and scaled back, but now we are officially launching the E-gazette. We must keep up with trends as the world moves towards digital, and we cannot remain confined to traditional hard copy,” says Prof. Nangoli.
Nangoli adds that the e-version of the Gazette is not only affordable compared to the hardcopy but also eliminates the burden of dealing with physical papers that may go missing or misplaced.
“The annual subscription fee for the hardcopy Gazette is 1.4 million shillings, while the e-gazette is only 800,000 shillings. This means that for just an additional 100,000 shillings, one can subscribe to the Gazette for two years. For a nominal fee of 3,000 Shillings, users can now have the entire Gazette at their fingertips than paying 5,000 for the hard copy,” says Nangoli.
The Uganda Gazette, issued weekly by the UPPC, is usually available on Fridays.
Nonetheless, an Extra Ordinary Gazette may be issued on any day as required. This publication consistently includes vital information such as legal notifications, statutory instruments, electoral notices, and private legal announcements. The latter covers a range of topics, including bankruptcies, company registrations and closures, probate proceedings, company by-laws, and changes in names (deed polls), among other significant updates.
Despite its rich content, the Uganda Gazette experiences limited circulation as a result of a constrained number of outlets. This limitation restricts access to this publication, which should ideally be essential to the general audience.
Rebecca Nyakairu, the Spokesperson of UPPC, says the E-Gazette will overcome limitations by extending its reach into the public domain. She adds that through the digitalization process, the Gazette transforms into a globally accessible resource with just a click on digital devices, catering to a broader audience.
“People now have the convenience of accessing the Gazette online, whether at home using laptops, phones, or any preferred devices,” said Nyakairu.
However, Nyakairu stressed that the digital transition doesn’t mark the demise of the hard copy version. Acknowledging the preference for physical copies, he affirmed, “Embracing the digital frontier with the E-Gazette doesn’t mean saying farewell to the traditional hardcopy. We understand that some still cherish the experience of a hard copy. Rest assured, the hard copy will still be available.”
To access the E-gazette, individuals need to subscribe by opening an account on the UPPC website and navigating to the ‘e.resources’ option.
The E-gazette aligns with UPPC’s recently revealed Five-year strategic plan, wherein the Chief Government Printer aims to leverage technology to enhance its products. During the launch of the strategic plan in September this year, Prof. Nangoli assured that 80 percent of their product offerings will be digitized by 2026.
“As we navigate an increasingly digital landscape, we will harness the power of technology to enhance our products and services for the convenience of our stakeholders,” Prof. Nangoli stated, emphasizing that this move is one of their objectives to protect the environment and improve operational efficiency.
Around the world, a growing number of countries have embraced digitalization by transitioning their official gazettes from traditional print formats to online platforms. The move towards online gazettes aligns with the global trend of leveraging technology to make official publications more accessible and user-friendly in the digital age.