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UGANDA: Internet shutdown stalls businesses, government agencies.



Ugandan Citizens

The internet shutdown in the East African country Uganda has affected businesses, government agencies, and organizations negatively. This is due to the restrictions to conduct business through e-commerce.

The shutdown commenced on the Eve of the election where the government cited security reasons.

The executive director of the Uganda Bankers Association, Mr. Wilbrod Owor said the impact of the shutdown can only be measured with an audit. He further states that the banking sector’s focus is restoring the various payment channels and all member services.

SafeBoda director and co-founder, Ricky Thompson disclosed that the internet shutdown froze the company business operations. The SafeBoda app which is used to order rides, buy airtime and deliver packages was affected.

According to him,

We could not make transactions, people could not access the app, and Zoom meetings were put on hold so I would term the shutdown as an attack on the economy,”

He further emphasizes how much has been lost by disclosing that the transportation company has a community of 22,000 riders, each earning about Shs30,000 and Shs50,000 every day.

Similarly, the online shopping store Jumia Uganda had its operations shut down.

According to Mr. Ron Kawamara, the Jumia-Uganda managing director, cash reconciliation was difficult because of its reliance on the internet, and consumers were affected by being unable to order food, groceries, and medicine.

As a result of the Internet blackout, it was estimated that Shs666 billion was lost on a daily.

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