Generally, the social media networks that we use in African countries are owned by American companies and you can’t fault people since they are the most popular.
Now in Uganda, The Observer reports that the Uganda Communications Commission wants to launch local social media platforms, apparently in a bid to lower Internet costs.
“That is one of the projects we are working on next year,” Uganda Communications Commission’s Executive Director, Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi was quoted as saying. “There is an investor who is bringing our own social media platforms. Instead of Twitter, you’re going to have something local that you’re going to use,” he said.
His main point is the fact that this move will lower internet costs. “The moment you access the Internet, you first go to America and come back when you are surfing. But if we had our own content here, it will be cheaper.”
According to Internet World Stats, Uganda has around 13 million Internet users out of a population of around 41 million. Mutabazi said that it is possible to have 10 million people subscribing to local social media platforms.
This move conjures a number of questions like whether people would be willing to join these networks, what local social networks will be developed and whether there will be government interference.
Uganda is not also new to policies that aim to govern the Internet. They blocked social media sites from being accessed during their election in 2016. Last year, they also announced that they ordered a pornography detecting machine to combat pornography in the country.