The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has requested Telecom Companies in Uganda to think about guiding the young people on how to profitably use their mobile phones to transact businesses.
She said it should be a concern of the telecom company to know whether young people are buying their products, like the smartphones, to improve their livelihood and not just as a lifestyle or for pleasure.
“I would really want to see you people begin to ask the young people what the phones they own have added to their lives”, Mrs. Janet Museveni told the Airtel – Uganda bosses who met her at Nakasero State House recently.
She emphasized that young people need to be taught how to use their mobile telephones to open a way for transacting businesses such as agricultural product selling and marketing, so that these phones begin to contribute to the country’s economy.
The young people need to know what they can do with a phone to help them live a better life she said, adding that incredible things can be done using the phone. She pointed out that in some countries like India almost everyone uses the phone to do business unlike here in Africa where we have not caught up with this yet.
She appreciated Airtel for the internet connectivity and for taking services to the people even in rural schools saying this will improve learning opportunities. She however cautioned the telecommunication companies that in their endeavour to bring ICT to schools, they should always take precaution and ensure that the children don’t use the phones and internet connectivity to break through into pornography.
The Airtel Uganda team, who included the Chairman Hannington Karuhanga, CEO VG Somasekhar and Director Legal Services Denis Kakonge, informed the First Lady about Airtel Uganda’s Corporate Social Responsibility Investment which includes the Adopt-A- School Program. Under this programme Airtel Uganda “adopts” a school, and goes on to refurbish and donate items including but not limited to classroom blocks, toilet facilities, water-harvesting facilities and libraries. Since its inception, this program has been implemented in a number of schools and it has ensured access to quality education for hundreds of underprivileged children from disadvantaged communities, and has therefore contributed to the overall development of the country.
Airtel Uganda’s CEO Somasekhar talked about the Company’s Broadband internet services and said that effective Saturday 8th December, Uganda will be the first country South of the Sahara to have one hundred percent mobile broadband coverage. “Airtel subscribers in the country including the rural areas will have access to fast internet, regardless of their geographical location”, he said.
He added that Airtel will bring internet to all the Universities, Secondary Schools and Primary Schools across the 133 Districts in Uganda.
The Airtel team also talked about other programmes under their Corporate Social Responsibility investment focusing on the Education and Sports sector which includes being the official sponsors of the Uganda Cranes and those focusing on the girl child.