NRM is going to leave Uganda in real trouble


By Daniel Bwanika via the UAH forum

UTL story is not about to end until Uganda parliament re-nationalises the telecom sector . This too requires to have a vibrant innovative telecommunication engineering sector. The market is already there and is growing.I now understand that in the USA there regions that have no access to the internet, for example, since they lack a telephone network!

UTL can undercut prices and provide: Data, Information, Education,Entertainment, Internet, Voice, Image , Health networks at far higherspeeds than relay satellite network.It is therefore players in the above sectors on whose behalf Anite can be eliminated.

Who has the ability to eavesdrop or tap wire conversations in Uganda if not Uganda security agencies?

This article was written in the 90s just before Uganda Posts and Telecommunication was disbanded. I remember we discussed the issue of the telecommunication on ugnet then J. Nkuuhe, Muntu and others.

This article was picked by a certain Nigerian professor and published in the New African Magazine.

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National Telecoms – as Societal Organised System Networks

If we asked today how many outpatients and inpatients were registered
in one health care centre AND HOSPITALS in the country where can such
that data be got?

If we were to ask how many children were admitted to primary education
and how many have since fallen out of the system where can that data
archived?

For matter of planning, if we asked how many people are located in
every district town centre and thus pays tax where is the information
and how can it be got?

If the state were to provide the provisions of electricity, water,
telephony how can we get the information about housing facilities in
every district town or municipal centre?

If we wanted to plan for meat export for example- where could we be
able to get an approximate cattle population and what we can consume
at a sustainable replacement rate?

Today we have more than 10 university campus how possible can one
easily communicates on research and academic issues – let us say solve
a complexes mathematical question where a knowledgeable person in
these matters is located at Kumi university campus?

Local district administrative points have a communication networks how
then is the information sent to the centre for planning or how does
the centre monitor what is taking place at local centres?

National telecommunication infrastructures are absolute necessities
for developmental purposes. If one was to reference any one world
organisations statistical data about Uganda one will be surprised by
the way erroneous figures are printed and then said to be
representative of national data banks.

I have written before that the problems, which Africa faces, are not
economic, as economic prophets’ claims but they are rather
FUNDAMENTALLY ORGANISATIONAL socially.

There is total lack of communications infrastructures, which will link
up all rural areas, mediating multiethnic societies and cultures,
networking for a common social action and hence generating harmonious
economic and business activities metamorphosing into national
socio-economic structures.

Claims that mobile phone and the privatisation of the
telecommunication sector, will lead to HARMONISING THE SHORT FALLS in
socio-economic organisation, does not hold, will be proved wrong and
will fail big time since the state organising structure have got no
control over their activities. Private sectors are there to maximise
profits but not build social networks therefore private networks are
confined geographically.

The problem with African telecoms is EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT or listed on
to the stock exchange, in order to attain productivity and efficiency
but not fragmentation and competition. If nation states want
competition in the sector, then National telecommunication companies
should be decentralised to regional, district or provincial level with
very clear objective and expert management for long term increases in
region productivity and efficiency with the centre. (see below)

There is no African Country today, which does not have a university/
ies, tertiary or vocational institutes and primary or secondary
schools network. On top of that, there is an extensive healthy network
system, public administration networks and trade on regional, district
or provincial levels, national to national level though not thoroughly
FUNCTIONAL AND OPERATIONAL in the most efficient and socially
productive manner. This is what are called economic problems rather
than COMMUNICATIONAL, TIME AND ORGANISATIONAL problems.

These are the structures,- social structures, which can generate and
support the National Telecoms economically in Africa, hence creating
the economy, which befits and can sustain a modern telecom
infrastructure. Advanced nations have reached the optimal level of
efficiency and productivity levels within these sectors, a reason why
they are looking for high-speed technologies to capture distance and
time outside their boundaries.

I can argue that as several national state societies are struggling to
form nations, these social structures are still rudimentary
structurally and required to stimulate internal growth. Present Africa
social structures are only generating traditional localised views-
hindering liberation of local knowledge exchange. In a sense, I can
argue that Africa has no society to society, group to group,
administrative to administrative COMMUNICATION AND ORGANISATION on a
national level. Where there is lack of such infrastructure,
communication is blocked or slow hence the problems socially becomes
even more complex, generating three other major problems Africans are
struggling with which are as follows; –

1. Lack of efficient management of multiethnic society or cultural
business /economies,
2. Timing
3. Monitoring and Control of both the private and public
socio-economic actions.

These are the main social problems, which manifests or simply
interpreted as economic problems- they are simply social
organisational problems, which must be solved first through systematic
structural social organisation. They can’t be solved through
privatisation since privatisation is hinged on individual desire to
maximise individual efforts but not national or society goal. In fact
such structure generates business and bureaucratic nepotism which is
so rampant in Africa because of kin and ethnic affiliations- thus
socially and economically retrogressive. Therefore, social structures
on a national level in Africa can be characterised as inferior
structures, which do not cause a nation state functionally
operational.

The solution is to use information communications infrastructure and
national telecoms as an organisational infrastructure to decentralise
administrative organs and hence competent on regional revels.

Besides the negative heterogeneous African social structures, those
structures are equally positive in the present state of socio-economic
state, with rapid mobility of labour and high communications
technological and proliferation into society- therefore Africa must
utilise these social structures optimally to create MODERN
telecommunications infrastructure.

By virtual of there existence, these social system networks, I can
actually ascertain that Africa is blessed – therefore let the
activities of the national state be decentralised to meet local
demands and views which later will evolve onto national level
economically and technologically. Usually, the economy is basically
founded on three principal demands namely: FOOD, SHELTER AND HEALTHY
which are factor components of the primary ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE on
which the TELECOM INDUSTRY in African should be FOUNDED.

Food is the agricultural sector and the predominant activity on the
African continent. Microwave climatic monitoring and dissemination of
information, for agricultural production does generate it is own
economy, which can sustain its own telecom networking industry. Since
agriculture is a necessity, it does also cause quick adaptability to
the information technological structures.

Shelter does compose housing, general construction sector and hygienic
sectors, which in social terms, calls for national organisational
structures hence an economy. The telecom industry in African can play
a huge role in harmonising healthy care, schools, and pre-urban
structural organisation and communication from the CENTRE to the
PERIPHERY -decentralisation of telecommunications infrastructure.

Healthy care in African could be so cheap if the National telecoms
where a bit more involved in determining the geographical distribution
of disease something which can be done through collecting data using
CARTOGRAPHIC methods to map out DRUG DISTRIBUTION, resource allocation
(man power and capital input), disease distribution. The
telecommunication industry is a harbinger in this regard with high
economic returns. How much does it cost to make a geographical
information map? You need data, which can quickly be transferred
through telecommunication infrastructures.

The last point if can be attained on regional levels then can generate
a self-sustaining financing national medical /agricultural /school
research network, administrative network etc. All, which for efficient
management and productive running can only be done through grounding
national telecoms network to pursue such socially productive sectors
in that particular location or regions on the African continent.

Compensatory networks, which are short term and self-financing, are
the TAXING SYSTEM networks. Every regional centre and trading nodes
must be connected into a network loop. Such a network calls for low
level law enforcing network to join like Traffic monitoring, customs,
and boarder to board crossing trade networks.

Then comes the media network, PUBLIC UTILITIES like water and sewerage
utilities, electricity distribution, postal activities, banking and
insurance networks etc. Such entities are self-sustaining which must
be linked to social system networks provided for by National telecoms
to generate national revenues for further social -technological
development. The problem with all the above-mentioned entities is not
PROFIT MAXIMISATION but MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENTAL strategies which
are lacking to cause profit maximisation.

I do not understand therefore, what is meant with non-performing
African telecommunication facilities or what privatisation is really
going to provide African societies with such service without the
political weal, social structures, within the nation state concerned.

Solution

Every country in Africa should start regional, district or provincial
data gathering centre, which will be connected, to the national
archiving centres.

The region or provincial centres must be financed partly by district,
regional or provisional budgets but mandate by the law. This is the
only way ICT and the telecom industry will percolate the traditional
organisation social structures, whence the African telecom markets can
be then derived. I mentioned the following which the African states
can organise to facilitate for the telecom growth which must be done
and provided for by the region budget for telecom offices against a
socially viable pay; –

1. Population gathering and census
2. School enrolment and output
3. Region market labour activities
4. Agricultural and food production outs and input
5. Fertility and Mortality rates from region healthy centres
6. River and stream hydrological data
7. Flora and fauna /taxonomy data
8. Disease maps and drug distribution /information
9. Tax revenue (region/provincial) collection and report
10. Industrial production data
11. Household data on family socio-economic status
12. Traffic and motor vehicle data
13. Chemical or environmental data
14. Climatology data
15. Land and survey data
16. Pre-urban housing data

All the above should be done on regional, provincial and district
level (strictly not on national level) hence creating the functional
awareness locally while triggering operational structures for
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY and national TELECOM ADAPTABILITY. This is what
I called a social superior structure and liberating social doing.
Claims that African states do not have the means do not hold. With
this structure in place, all states will divest from above duties and
delegate them near to the people concerned hence causing local,
participatory, popularistic appeal and solving the problem I mentioned
above organisation communication, monitoring, time perspective and
control. It will therefore call for seeking local solution to capital
input like popularising data collection methods and capital input both
human and fixed. That is the role the national telecommunication
should purse vigorously- pass on the article to you respective
government for action.

Management of African telecommunications sector does not mean ownership.

Bwanika .
Dbbwanika@netscape.com

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