BY PAUL TENTENA
KAMPALA, UGANDA- The continued vandalism of bandwidth cables and the entire internet infrastructure is the reason why Uganda’s internet costs remain higher with in the East African region according to Hans Haerdtle, the CEO Liquid Telecom Uganda.
Though he says the prices are not too high in comparison with some countries in West Africa with less than 10% costs, he maintains that while replacing a vandalised cable, they incur a lot of costs that have to eventually be met by the final consumer.
“When National Water or any other organisation cut our cables while installing water pipes, we have to replace them and there is a cost always involved,” said Haertle during a function where Liquid Telecom Uganda was partnering with The Innovation Village to support Ugandan start-ups.
The partnership will support Ugandan start-ups at The Innovation Village in Ntinda with high-speed internet and cloud-based services.
Liquid Telecom Uganda, formerly known as Infocom, will work alongside The Innovation Village to provide new opportunities for start-ups operating in Kampala, enabling access to additional resources and expertise that can help them scale and launch locally relevant solutions.
The Innovation Village officially opened in 2015and has already served over 2,000 entrepreneurs, covering fields as diverse as fintech, edtech, media, climate and agribusiness.
Last year, the hub worked with 820 innovators, with 40% of them being young women, helping to connect many with local partners and investors.
The partnership will also involve technology developmental programmes, including Liquid’s ongoing GoCloud initiative, which is supported by Microsoft and aims to raise awareness, adoption and usage of Azure Cloud across Africa.
“Uganda is home to one of Africa’s youngest and most exciting start-up ecosystems,” added Haerdtle.
“Through this new partnership with The Innovation Village, we are delighted to be able to support young entrepreneurs across the country who will be instrumental in developing solutions to some of society’s largest problems.”
In October 2017, Liquid Telecom announced that it is supporting start-ups entering insight2impact’s (i2i) DataHack4FI innovation competition, which aims to harness the power of data science to develop new evidence-based solutions to improve financial inclusion.
As part of Kampala Innovation Week, which ran from November 27 to December 1, The Innovation Village hosted the DataHack4FI competition with Liquid Telecom providing entrants with free high-speed connectivity and credits for Microsoft Azure.
“In Liquid Telecom, we have found what we have always been looking for – a partner with entrepreneurial spirt and a deep appreciation of innovation that can help local start-ups truly connect to the regional marketplace,” said CK Japheth, CEO and co-founder, The Innovation Village.
“This partnership with Liquid Telecom will help put Uganda on the regional and global innovation map, which starts with a vibrant start-up ecosystem driven by partnerships and access to a regional footprint. It opens the door for more partners and investors for the Ugandan entrepreneur.”