Uganda to Get Cheap Computers


In an effort to increase the use and distribution of computers in the country, the government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation are in talks to form a public-private partnership to set up a computer refurbishing plant that will substantially reduce the cost of a computer.

"In a few months Ugandans will have access to PC at a cheaper target price of only US$100 (Shs170, 000) and some of these PCs have already reached in the country," Patrick Bitature, the chairman of Uganda Investments, said. He said the plant is expected to have a refurbishing capacity of 10,000 PCs per year.

Bitature said if the project materialises it will be beneficial to all Ugandans including those in the rural area. "Information and Communication Technology is probably the single most important tool one can embrace other than education, for development. Poverty is rooted in ignorance," he said.

One of the avenues is to see the price of a single computer go down to about $100 (Shs170, 000). Currently the market price of a brand new PC is rated at Shs1.5 million (US$882) and Shs800, 000 (US$470) depending on the type and durability.

In Uganda there about with a population close to 30 million people, about 120,000 people can get access to a PC but only 25,000 are registered as subscribers with all the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Bitature said: "Uganda still has the opportunity to exploit the ICTs fully to reduce the over dependency on agriculture to at least 50 percent". The government recently scrapped off Value Added Tax on computer imports to increase computer availability in the country.

The Monitor