UCC Aims to Enhance Rural Connectivity through Towerco of Africa

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

During a significant event held at the Serena Hotel in Kampala, where Ubuntu Towers underwent a rebranding to become Towerco of Africa, a leading telecommunication tower construction company, Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, the State Minister for ICT, disclosed that the UCC has established the Rural Communication Development Fund, a connectivity program under the Ministry of ICT. This initiative aims to provide improved infrastructures in rural areas, thereby improving accessibility and closing the connectivity divide.

The Minister emphasized that the entry of Towerco of Africa as a new player in the tower construction industry would foster greater innovations and advancements in Uganda’s ICT sector. The company is resolute in constructing telecommunication towers primarily in underserved rural regions with no existing connectivity.

Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the Director for Engineering and Communication Infrastructure at UCC, stressed the importance of tower building companies extending their reach to rural areas, ensuring comprehensive coverage for all citizens.

Currently, the central regions of Uganda enjoy coverage, but there remain numerous black spots in remote upcountry regions where connectivity remains inadequate. Sewankambo praised Towerco of Africa for its commitment to constructing telecom towers in far and hard-to-reach areas to connect all Ugandans.

Geoffrey Oketayot, the Executive Director of Towerco of Africa (formerly Ubuntu Towers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Axian Telecom), shared their mission to improve rural telecommunication access in areas lacking network coverage. To achieve this goal, the company engaged in strategic partnerships and acquisitions, leading to the rebranding to Towerco of Africa. Oketayot highlighted that the telecom tower business requires significant investment, and the partnership has attracted over 40 million dollars in funding.

According to statistics, the telecommunication industry covers approximately 70 percent of the land with masts, leaving a substantial gap of 30 percent to be explored by Towerco of Africa.

In their operations as Towerco of Africa in Uganda, they aim to adopt environmentally friendly practices to preserve the environment, setting themselves apart from other players. Currently, 70 percent of their networks are powered by solar connectivity.

Stephane Beuvelet, the Chief Executive Officer of Towerco of Africa, emphasized that telecom infrastructure development contributes significantly to various sectors such as education, agriculture, and transportation.

Additionally, Towerco of Africa is committed to ensuring equitable tower sharing among its customers, the telecom companies, by facilitating shared tower heights and proper power distribution.

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