Madam Speaker, Information and Telecommunications Technology (ICT) supports development of the financial services sector, telecommunications, public financial management and scientific research and innovation and e-Government. ICT contributes 2.5% of GDP (2015), employs approximately 1.3 million Ugandans and raised Shs. 484.4 billion in tax revenue collection in 2015. Telephone subscribers have increased from 19.5 million in 2013 to 23 million in 2015, while internet users grew from 8.5 million to 13 million in the same period. In further support for ICT development, land for construction of the ICT Park at Namanve Industrial Park has been secured and the feasibility study completed. In addition, larger land space has been acquired in Entebbe where a mega ICT park will be set up starting next financial year.
Madam Speaker, starting with next financial year, the sector will improve access to high speed broadband services from 512 Kilobytes per second to 4 Megabytes per second and 30Mbps for rural and urban households respectively. This will support business productivity and facilitate communication. The National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) will be extended to cover West Nile and Karamoja Regions under the Regional Communication Infrastructure Project, with support from the World Bank. The Backbone will also be extended to neighbouring countries (Kenya via Malaba and Busia, Tanzania via Mutukula, Rwanda via Katuna, South Sudan via Nimule and Democratic Republic of Congo via Mpondwe to further improve regional interconnectivity.