ICT Infrastructure

Project Coordinated by: 
Uganda

On 28th October 2013, the Presidents of Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and South Sudan decided to include Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as one of the strategic areas that will facilitate the integration within the region, and consequently a Technical Team was tasked with drawing ICT projects that will facilitate integration within the countries.
As a follow up, the ICT Ministers identified the various priority areas that should be addressed in order to realize the benefits of integration. They included the following:

  1. ICT policy, Infrastructure implementation and broadband connectivity;
  2. Roaming charges and termination rates;
  3. Harmonization of SIM registration regime;
  4. Cyber Security;
  5. Mainstreaming of ICT in the integration projects;
  6. E-Services
  7. ICT skills and human capital development
  8. Digital Migration; and
  9. Support for development of policy and regulatory framework to the Republic of South Sudan.

Uganda was chosen as the Cluster Chair, to ensure that all priority areas and achieved. The ICT cluster has since participated in all summits that have been hosted on a rotational basis across Partner states of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. During the period dating back in 2013 to date, the ICT cluster has registered tremendous progress, amidst challenges. These are highlighted below, including work in progress as listed in the strategic direction.

Highlights/achievements

  1. The ICT cluster was able to operationalise One Network Area (ONA) for voice in the region by 2nd January, 2015. This implies that all calls in the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) region are charged a uniform price. The call costs in the region have reduced by over 50%, thereby causing tremendous growth in voice traffic (both incoming and outgoing) in all partner states.
  2. On the implementation of National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) interconnection, Rwanda already completed, Kenya in implementing while Uganda has acquired funding for implementation of phase III of the NBI and the project is scheduled for commencement in June 2015. South Sudan also secured and committed funds ground breaking ceremony for implementation of the NBI took place on 17th March 2015. 
  3. The ICT cluster has also finalized the development of the NCIP web portal and it will be launched during the 10th summit in Kampala.
  4. The Over -arching regional Broadband strategy has been developed and will be signed during the 10th Summit. This strategy seeks to address the existing regional gaps in the provision of broadband.
  5. The Cyber Security MoU has been developed and approved by the respective partner states and will be signed during the 10th Summit. This will define a collaborative framework for partner states to jointly tackle any cyber crime and establish a regional implementation of cyber security initiatives.
  6. Procurement of the traffic monitoring system to detect fraudulent calls. So far Rwanda has been successful in its implementation. Kenya, south Sudan and Uganda are still in the procurement process.
  7. Analogue to Digital Migration (ADM) Process to meet the 17th June, 2015 deadline is on course.  Rwanda and Kenya have finished the migration process. Uganda and South Sudan are working hard to ensure that they meet the 17th June deadline. The partner states are also working together to create awareness on ADM.
  8. Partner States have collaborated in participation at International ICT fora, for instance at the ITU Telecom World in Doha in December 2014, where the set up a joint pavilion for NCIP partner states was realized.  NCIP Partner states also participated in the Connected East Africa summit in Kenya from 30th March to 2nd April 2015.
  9. The Cluster also developed a communications strategy and trained communications officers from partner states on the use of the NCIP web portal.
  10. The Cluster formed a Joint Technical Team to support the implementation of NCIP infrastructure projects in the Cluster.
  11. Under the Implementation of the e-services strategy, the following have been achieved.
  •  Regional e-Customs Single Window guidelines and implementation plan were developed.
  •  Regional e-Soko concept and implementation plan was developed.
  •  Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have harmonized a regulatory framework for integration of national databases for National Identity cards and SIM cards. South Sudan is in the process of developing its regulation.

Strategic path of the Cluster

  1. On the Implementation of One Network Area for SMS and Data, Partner states have given instructions to the operators to implement ONA for SMS and consultations on the implementation of ONA for data have been completed and a model developed.
  2. Completion of procurement of Traffic Monitoring system and its implementation by Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.
  3. Finalization of the NBIs for Uganda and South Sudan
  4. Preparation of Cabinet Information Paper the National Postcode and Geographical Addressing System
  5. Finalization of the digital migration process by Uganda and South Sudan
  6. Completion of barring of unregistered SIM Cards in Uganda and South Sudan
  7. ICT Cluster to finalise the concept for Centers of Excellence and discuss the concept with the Human Resource Capacity Building Cluster.
  8. Development of Legal Framework that will incorporate fibre optic access in all areas of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.