Mutabazi: Digital Migration Key for Uganda’s Transformation

Kenyan medical professionals who made the heroic choice to volunteer to contain the deadly Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and Liberia will be rewarded for their service, prostate President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

The President instructed the Ministry of Health to give a job to any volunteer who is not permanently employed as a show of appreciation.

The President was speaking at State House, cheap Nairobi, on Monday, after 155 of the 170 who travelled to West Africa in January returned to the country.

The 155 landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and were driven to State House, where they were hosted by the President.

The Ebola scourge killed thousands in West Africa and threatened to crush economies of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

President Kenyatta said the example set by the medical volunteers will inspire many Kenyans to rise up to the occasion and help in finding solutions.

“The problem with many of us is that we like to mourn instead of solving problems. You shall remain an inspiration to many others,” said the President after breakfast with the volunteers.

He said the West African intervention has taught Africa that it can deal with its problems.

“You have proven that Africa can provide solutions to its problems and that we in Kenya have the commitment to deal with our issues,” said the President.

The deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Erastus Mwencha, said even though the rest of the world had offered to help with the Ebola pandemic, no one was ready to give doctors for fear of the risks involved.

“You have contributed to Africa’s quest to be in charge of its destiny,” he said.

Cabinet Secretary for Health, James Macharia, said the mission by the medical experts sets a good example of what Kenya can achieve.

The CS said Kenya was one of the countries that were most affected by the economic consequences of the Ebola outbreak including the suspension of flights to and from West Africa.

Some members of the team gave their testimony of the journey to confront the ‘unknown’ to support fellow Africans.

Dr Nasra Mohamed said they helped stop the disease through infection prevention.

She said the disease spreads through contact and the volunteers from Kenya and other African nations ensured they stopped the transmission of the virus through proper diagnosis and isolation of patients.

The Kenyan volunteers also provided other regular medical services in major Liberian hospitals that were under immense pressure.

“The African Union operation was the biggest in Liberia and our presence was felt where we served,” she said.

Liberia has now been declared Ebola free while Sierra Leone is in the final stages of being declared Ebola Free.

Fifteen medical professionals who were part of the Kenyan team have been left in Sierra Leone to wrap up the AU operation.
Uganda effected the Analogue switch-off for Television in Kampala and surrounding areas on 17th June 2015.

The switch-off, cure undertaken by Uganda Communications Communication (UCC) was in fulfillment of an international deadline for the Analogue to Digital Migration.

Uganda being a member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), online a Global standardization and regulatory body for Telecommunications, link which includes Radio and Television Broadcasting had to undergo this migration as other countries in the Region and around the World had done.

Its in this regard that ChimpReports (CR) caught up with the Executive Director of UCC, Godfrey Mutabazi (GM).



CR: What is Digital Broadcasting Migration?

GM: Digital broadcasting migration is a process in which broadcasting services offered on the traditional analogue technology are replaced with digital based networks.

Digital broadcasting takes two standards; Digital Satellite broadcasting which requires use of a Satellite Dish to capture data transmissions from long distances and in Uganda is offered by service provider such as MultiChoice’s DStv and Azam TV.

The other is Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting where a consumer requires an outdoor antenna to capture signals from the signal distributor and set-top-box/decoders to convert them into images.

Service providers such as Gotv and StarTimes are already positioned in the market with this pay/subscription TV standard.

CR: Why the Analog Digital Migration?

The Analogue to Digital Migration is not only intended to deliver an improved signal, with crisp picture quality and clearer audio (sound) waves but also to to enhance the quality of services to viewers.

The Analogue to Digital switch is also aimed at revamping over-all Television services, including enriched content so that Television plays a greater and more central role in the Development process.

CR: Expound more on the migration process

GM: The switch over will be in three phases. Phase one took its effect in Kampala early this week.

Phase two will  commence on July 31, covering Arua, Kisoro, Mbarara, Mbale, Masaka and Masindi, and Phase three on August 30, covering Jinja, Ntungamo, Rubirizi, Fort portal, Gulu, Kiboga, Lira, Kabale and Soroti districts.

Decoders are being sold in different areas at reduced prices. Campaigns are on going in many parts of Uganda to make them ready for this Migration.

All TV owners need to either acquire a Set-Top-Box (STB) to connect to their analogue TV or purchase a digital television set which has an inbuilt digital tuner.

CR: What challenges have you faced in this transition?

GM: Ugandans are stubborn and some have not embraced this transition but once analogue TV is switched off completely all over, they will have no choice but to embrace the switch.

CR: There have been concerns over increased abuse of social media. Is UCC considering taking any action about this development?  

GM: The public should use social media positively rather than abuse it. It’s a good innovation which is meant to support national development.

However, people are using these platforms to leak nude picture, post sex videos as well as practice all sorts of cyber scams and disturb national security.

UCC does not seek to stifle freedoms but wants people to use social media responsibly. However, if this is not done, regulatory interventions that are harsh will be carried out.

About Godfrey Mutabazi

Born in Kabale and raised in Tooro Kingdom, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi is the current Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission(UCC).

He is an engineer who holds a Masters of Science Degree in ICT (software engineering) with a bias in Spectrum Planning from the University of Liverpool, U.K.

He also holds a certificate in Broadcasting Regulation from the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, and has several professional qualifications in several aviation engineering disciplines, including Avionics.

He worked in the United Kingdom for over ten years as an Engineer for several engineering companies, including Air Touring Services at Beggin Hill and Chief Engineer of Mustique Airways,.

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