Telecom price war to affect taxes and service quality

A REDUCTION in revenues to the treasury and possible consolidation in the telecom sector will follow in the wake of the current price war, triggered two months ago by Warid, industry watchers have said.

In the latest round of cost cutting MTN has offered calls at a shilling a second to new MTN subscribers. Under the new scheme a subscriber will buy three Sim cards and create his own network with two others to enjoy the rock bottom tariff.

Almost simultaneously Warid announced their Kawa promotion that promises calls at one shilling per four seconds.

This race to the bottom was prompted by the entrance in April of Bharti Airtel, after the Indian firm bought Zain’s Africa operations in 15 countries.

Bharti Airtel, the fifth largest mobile phone company in the world with 190 million subscribers, is the leading telecom company in its home market accounting for just under third of all subscribers.

No one from Zain was available to comment on the subject but industry analysts point to Bharti’s economies of scale and its business model where everything except marketing, sales and finance are outsourced will be key in their driving prices down.

The price war has halved tariffs and leading to longer and more frequent calls.
“We are experiencing an increase of 26% on minutes of use per day meaning people are calling more. The number of callers form other networks too has increased especially Warid,” Mark Kaheru, the Uganda Telecom public relations, said.  Read more….


When politics meets culture!

Recently, there has been tension in Uganda all in the name of promoting culture. It has been going on for awhile and I would not want it just started yesterday or when the Kabaka (King) of Buganda was refused to visit one of his “constituencies”. People in Uganda have always had cultural differences. This I can remember even in my school days when once could identify you according to your physical appearance, long noses from the western part and big noses from the central part. As for the eastern and northern, I can not remember well! The Baganda have always felt superior to the rest of the tribes in Uganda but of recent, we have seen a change in this game! People from the west are now taking on this new “feel good” attitude with the popular saying that “we are in control”. This has caused a lot of hatred from the rest of the tribes. Therefore, the rest riots in across Uganda did not come as a surprise to me!

Although the cause was mainly as a result of the refusal of the Buganda’s king to visit Kayuga, I stand to point out that is was more to this than the “naked eye” could see! One can tell that atleast 40% of the rioters/protesters from not from Buganda. They were instead a mob of youth who are battling the fate of unemployment in this country, Uganda. Also, from the areas of occurrence of these riots, you could see that they sparked off in areas where development is yet to be realized. That most of these rioters emerged from downtown Kampala and slums around the main city of Kampala. So for the president to hold secret meeting with the Buganda king in the name of addressing the situation is just a matter of waste to me! Since the real cause of the chaos is being talked about and that is Youth Unemployment! Thus reading today Monitor headline, I still do feel that Yes, a lot still has to be resolved in terms of addressing the root causes of these tensions rather that just the Mengo-Government politics game!

For us Ugandans to have full harmony amongst ourselves, I believe government should find means of having equitable distribution of resources across the country in terms of development priortisation. Government should go back to redesign priority areas for development instead of wasting tax payers money in form of fielding our dear soldiers to die in Somalia. Instead, it (government) should focus on developing rural areas by providing infrastructural development in form of schools, good roads, electrification, advancing agricultural development e.t.c. It’s through this and many others that we shall see peace fully restored in our motherland.

Stand Up Against Poverty

Today is the UN’s official World Poverty Day! Millions of people are estimated to take part in the The Stand up against poverty campaign.  But come to think about it, every day is poverty day for the two billion people worldwide who have less than two dollars a day to live on. Of those, just under one billion live on just one dollar a day. In September 2000, 189 countries pledged to halve the number of those in poverty by 2015. When we look at the results so far, hope mixes with despair. Over 100 million children are still unable to go to school. Each year, 10 million children die before their 5th birthday. 40 million are living with HIV and AIDS, and 5 million die of it each year.’17th Oct 2004 Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development

Today, nearly half of the world’s people live in poverty, 70% are women. 50,000 people still die daily as a result of extreme poverty, and yet …..we have the power to change this.

In my previous post, I talked about slums in Uganda. I can’t find the exact number of people living in slums who particularly make up the urban poor! But today, I managed to take a picture to show you a general of the living conditions in Katwe or is it the housing situation.

Keeping energized during a workshop

Today has been one of those workshop days where I felt like all my energy has been drained out of me. One thing that I always try to fight especially when I’m facilitating a workshop or even just being a participant is losing energy or feeling burn out at the end of the day.

It takes alot of energy to talk to participants more-so if they are some hands-on sessions to be done. Even when you think participants have an idea of what you are telling them to do, it turns out that alot of talking on how to about things has to be.  So, how do you beat that and maintain your energy without necessarily burning out? Here are some tips on how to keep energized through out a workshop or conference I would like to share that have worked for me.

  • Leave your worries/problems the moment you walk into the workshop room. This will keep you focused on the workshop rather than worrying about things you don’t have solutions for at the moment.
  • Try to get to know all participants’ names to avoid calling people wrong names or else you will have gloomy faces staring back at you!
  • Stick to the agenda of the workshop
  • Try to maintain a balanced diet through out the entire workshop or else you will have nutritional issues
  • Drink lots and lots of water or else you will be dehydrated
  • …….. share all you know 🙂

Right now, I have completed day two of the Uganda Citizen Journalism traininng and Im so warn out. I think something went wrong somewhere 😦

On the road….

I took these pictures on the way to Grahamstown along coast on Port Elizabeth and ofcourse at the Highway Africa workshop ….


Saturday boredoom

After taking sometime not posting I am back :), this time to rant about boring Saturdays.

I always look forward to Friday nites but not saturday afternoon. Reason not being able to do some constructive work or even think straight.

Right now I am in an Internet cafe. There are over 20 computers but only about 10 machines occupied, which leaves me wondering what happened to our internet cafes. Is it because many businees people are into the cafe business or is to because people now can access internet on their mobile phones or even at home. I remember some 5 years back, you would go from cafe to cafe but you would either find the place fully booked and you had to be on a look at any one who perhaps had an issue so that you jump onto their machine.

Well, my minutes are over. Time to post this blog and go to the saloon. Pure gal stuff!!!!!!! 🙂 

Hit and run drivers!

Ever wondered what happens to hit and run drivers?! Do they ever get caught? or do they simply vanish leaving their victims to die or suffer untold pain? Your guess is as good as mine! Although i think some might regret their actions wondering what could have happened to that person who they left struggling for their lives.

On my way to work today, I passed over a man who had been hit by a car. To my amusement, there where some policemen among the crowd who had gathered around the victim. However, what disturbed my mind is whether an ambulance had been called to  rush this person to hospital. Although from the look of things that could not have been the case! This thus left me wondering the role of the police in responding to such calamities.  Of course there was no evidence of the driver who had hit this man who, was fighting for his life!

Only God knows when reckless drivers will be brought to justice. Perhaps during judgement day!