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Internet penetration indicates a positive future, experts say

By Faustine Kakiiza, Bernard Oguti

Added 27th June 2019 10:45 AM

According to experts from different sectors, effective internet creates space for all Ugandans were they can engage on several issues and put to task their leaders to account.

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According to experts from different sectors, effective internet creates space for all Ugandans were they can engage on several issues and put to task their leaders to account.

TECHNOLOGY
 
Effective internet penetration has been cited as one of the tools that can efficiently promote accountability among the public at various levels.
 
According to experts from different sectors, effective internet creates space for all Ugandans were they can engage on several issues and put to task their leaders to account.
 
Awel Uwihanganye, the head of Government citizen interaction center, Uganda said social media is all about social conversations that have created room for social expression among the community across ethnic identity.
 
This was during the Uganda social media conference organized by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung yesterday at Xanadu collection hotel at Kampala.
 
The conference was hosted under the theme, “social media and the prospects for digital politics in Africa” that focused on reducing inequalities, influence policy making, reduce stereotype and foster gender equality.
 
“Social media is now a space for accountably and a powerful tool that can cause positive change and mobilize people to take fiscal action”, Uwihanganye said.
 
The experts cited the nature of content and the level of coverage of the message as key determinants to followership on social media and urged political parties to focus on these two aspects.
 
“People tend to follow personalities and the content than parties which explains why President Museveni has a big following on Twitter because of the educative content he gives to the public as a result of his personality, one of the experts said.
 
In her keynote address, Nanjala Nyabola, author and internet activist from Kenya, mentioned that social media has given room for women rights activism and taking of offline conversations to online platforms that has led to transparency in governance and social service delivery.
 
The experts see social media as a tool for educating and liberating masses and ease mobilization of people and sharing of information.
 
According to experts, although social media access is still limited to rural areas, the growing internet penetration indicates a bright future for social media use by most Ugandans and surely it will reach a wider coverage.
 
“Conversations are moving from relaxed stuff to serious issues with internet penetration at 41.6% rise”, Joel Ssenyonyi, the People Power spokesperson said.
 
The experts advised the government to focus on the grassroots levels and ease access to internet for the rural people so as to achieve balanced coverage and inclusion of all Ugandans in decision making through social media platforms.
 
“It’s important to go to the grassroots levels to get all Ugandans at the same level”, Kerstin Welter, a freelance journalist from Germany said.
 
Stephen Okello one of the participants encouraged the government to ease internet access for the youth to get information on employment opportunities and enable them do research.

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