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Rwanda, Uganda cooperate on ICT

The governments of Uganda and Rwanda have agreed to strengthen ties on a number of ICT-related initiatives.

The Rwandan Minister of ICT, Ignace Gatare, met Ugandan ICT Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, for talks in Uganda this week.

In a joint communiqué issued after the meeting, the Ministers said cross-border connectivity was identified as one key area for cooperation.  

They said while telecoms operators already had cross-border links, the quality of services was inadequate. A task force is being set up to look into the matter, while in the longer term, the two envisage linking their countries’ national backbones and working together to secure satellite bandwidth.

The two countries will also work with Egypt, South Sudan and other countries in the region to fast track an initiative to get better access to submarine cables.

To adopt best practice for mobile communication along national borders, it is necessary to distinguish between Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) to which a mobile handset is registered on either side of the border. Therefore, the two countries agreed to fast track color code harmonization.

The ministers also agreed to work together to establish a legal environment conducive to better broadband policies and cyber laws, and fighting child pornography.

It was also noted that Rwanda successfully implemented the National ID project. Considering that Uganda has started implementing a similar project, the parties agreed to share experience and expertise to ensure successful completion. They plan to cooperate and share experiences on national data centre implementation, the one laptop per child programme, capacity building and the implementation of national ICT policies, among other things.

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