Uganda - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Uganda is a landlocked country served by a network of 27,000 kilometers (16,800 miles) of roads, although only 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) are paved and 4,800 kilometers (2,900 miles) of the remainder are suitable for all-weather purposes. This road network supplied Uganda's total 25,900 passenger cars and 42,300 commercial

Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Uganda 2 128 27 N/A 1 0.1 1.5 0.06 25
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Dem. Rep. of Congo 3 375 135 N/A 0 N/A N/A 0.00 1
Kenya 9 104 21 N/A 0 N/A 2.5 0.19 35
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

vehicles in 1995. With funding from a range of external donors, Uganda launched an ongoing road rehabilitation project in 1987 with the principal aims of providing improved access of agricultural products to markets within the country and a regional network to link Rwanda, the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda with the port of Mombasa in Kenya. A 22-kilometer (13-mile) road linking Uganda to Rwanda was opened in 2000.

The nation's rail system had lacked sufficient investment since decolonization, but the state-owned Uganda Railways Corporation's (URC) 1,241 kilometers (770 miles) of railroad has benefitted from a rejuvenation project since 1995. This includes plans by the government to partially privatize the operation of the network. The URC has US$350 million in assets and a US$20 million annual turnover , and, due to the trebling of freight traffic between 1989 and 1995, the URC network has the potential of becoming highly profitable.

The Entebbe International Airport is Uganda's major airport, which is situated 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Kampala. Although there are another 28 airports throughout the country, the vast majority are unpaved. Uganda's landlocked status makes it dependent upon the port services of neighboring countries, such as Mombasa in Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. Rail links to the port of Durban in South Africa are growing in importance. The country's situation in the "Great Lakes" region means that it boasts 5 large lakes and 2 major rivers that are frequently used for transportation purposes. The use of waterways has benefitted from an extensive program of government investment and external aid.

The vast and varied waterways in Uganda are also highly beneficial for the production of hydroelectricity. A parastatal, Uganda Electricity Board (UEB), utilizes this natural resource to produce enough power to satisfy the country's needs and also to export 115 million kWh of electricity in 1998. UEB commands assets worth over US$600 million and has an annual turnover in the region of US$70 million. The government intends to grant concessions to the private sector for the operation of parts of UEB upon its disintegration into separate operators maintaining the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

In 2000 there were 2 national telecommunications operations in the country, Uganda Telecomm Limited (UTL) and Mobile Telephone Network Uganda (MTN). A third operator, Celtel Uganda, supplies additional mobile telephone services. Although as many as 12 Internet service providers had been licensed to provide both Internet e-mail and Internet services by early 2001, only 4 are actually in operation.

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