The new Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Frank Tumwebaze said the cost of internet must be reduced because internet is as important to innovation as power. While appearing on NBS Television Morning Breeze, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze said, “We must further reduce the cost of the internet. Internet for institutions like universities should be subsidized. Reducing the cost of internet is paramount because internet is as important to innovation as power. Question is, how? That’s one of our priorities”.
He added, “We have some Ugandans that trade in pessimism online. Whip will be on hackers & hate speech. Shouldn’t we control pornography? We have to benchmark what other countries have done without curtailing on rights”.
The Minister also said his Ministry will pay more attention to innovation because more Ugandans will be employed and that’s why we have Science Innovation Fund. “UGX500bn Science Innovation Fund is no longer for agri-innovations only. Money not enough but we have some money”.
Tumwebaze said as task number one, he set out to meet stakeholders in the media, ICT, ISPs industries. “We had a wonderful dialogue. From the #ICTDialogueUG, a lot of issues were raised and they formed part of our agenda,” he added.
The Minister said previous social media shutdowns were due to cyber threats and that includes hacking. “I am not here to clampdown on social media but we need to ensure that our online interaction is safe”
On his previous ministerial post of Kampala and Presidency, Frank said, “While trying to make a good omelette, a few shells had to be broken. I am very proud of my work during my tenure as minister in charge of Kampala”
On television accessibility, the minister it’s not proper that Ugandans who don’t have money to subscribe can’t watch TV. He said as government they are looking into it. “Why is the free to air service not available? That’s something we should solve”.
“Government has been having a challenge of disjointed communication. Communication by government officials was affected by notion that speaking to the media is politicking. It is not. An open government is the way to go. This is not just my position but a government position,” The minister said.
On Police discipline, the said Police should speak out, especially on what happens to officers who misbehave. “Police should know that now more than ever, Ugandans understand more about their rights,” he said.