The Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi presided over the commissioning of the new UCC board on 1st September 2021 early this week. The swearing-in ceremony and inauguration took place at the ministry headquarters on Wednesday.
The new Uganda Communications Commission board is a mixture of re-appointed members such as Dr Dorothy Kabagaju Okello (Chairperson), Dr Jimmy Pat Saamanya and Enoch Barata, and new faces such as Ms Lucy Ntabazi, Mr Edson Ngirabakunzi, Eng. Paul Odoi and Eng. Geoffrey Agoi. Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo is a member by virtue of her position.
The Minister of ICT pledged to offer support in regards to the board’s oversight role. He said, “We as the ministry shall give you all the support you need so that you can do your work of providing oversight over UCC,” the minister said during the board members’ swearing-in ceremony.
New UCC Board urged to work on communications regulation
Recalling his first visit to UCC in his new position last week, the Minister said his team was “impressed by what we saw”, citing the arrangements and technologies put in place to facilitate regulation of the communications sector.
“When we came back, we resolved to give you maximum support so that you can be able to do your work,” he said, outlining some of the 26 functions the Commission is assigned in Section 5 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013.
He however emphasized the need for the new UCC board to work on the communication and media space citing more regulation needed. More regulation will be required to especially tackle abuse and the spread of fake news.
Dr Okello, also Dean of the School of Engineering at Makerere University, said UCC has a great mission to drive the development of a modern communications sector, adding that she is honoured to be part of that agenda.
“I want to commit on behalf of the board that we will continue on the EPIC journey,” she said, in reference to the Commission’s corporate values – “Excellence, Professionalism, Integrity and Commitment.”
“We are doing this assignment on delegation from the ministry,” the chairperson noted, calling on the ministry’s leadership to support the board.
Under Section 9 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Commission’s Board must include a person with experience and knowledge in telecommunications, broadcasting or postal communications, who shall also be the chairperson.
The board must also include;
- A representative of professional engineers recommended by the Institute of Professional Engineers
- A prominent lawyer who is a member of the Uganda Law Society
- A person knowledgeable in the field of economics, financial management and public administration
- A representative of the ministry responsible for information and communications technology
- The Executive Director
- A representative of consumers recommended by the Uganda Consumers Association
- One eminent person of good repute and proven integrity representing the public.