Monday, August 23, 2010

Uganda Telecom Pursues users to buy its Kasana Phone

Competition in Uganda's telecom market is getting to a high like never before. Uganda enjoys an ever increasing number of telecom players, most notable is: MTN, Uganda telecom, Zain, Warid, Orange, Smile Telecom, i-telecom, Foris telecom. Each of these is trying to out-do the other in offer better phones and call rates.

For 2 weeks running, I have had a message sent to my Uganda telecom phone with this message:

Dear Customer, Buy one Kasana solar powered phone at UGX. 60,000/= and get one free! Hurry and get yours now while stocks last, at UT (Uganda Telecom) shops countrywide.
It is interesting that this phone which was retailing at UGX 81,000/=, as the Uganda telecom website notes, is now at only UGX. 30,000/=!
Another message that is often sent every now and then on this network is:

Dear customer, you can now enjoy more days on the Endobo promo. Simply text ENDOBONo of days to 200. For example text ENDOBO 7 to 200 to get 7 days on Endobo
The Endobo profile allows a subscriber to load UGX 1,000 and call for free the whole day any other Uganda telecom subscriber numbers including landlines.

Uganda National Voters Register available Online

Computers and the Internet are certainly changing the way we do things. For the very first time, the electoral commission is displaying the national voter's register online!! Citizens now have the ability to browse the entire register at their convenience.

The national voter's register can be accessed via the electoral commission website here: http://www.ec.or.ug or http://41.210.167.106/nvr/, considering that the website is facing a name resolution problem.

Challenges with the register
  • Users cannot search the register for their names, unless they know the name of the district, constituency, sub county, parish and polling station.
  • Website or register has no web 2.0 features. Users cannot share the resource with their friends or easily give feedback to improve this resource.
  • Since the register is uploaded online to allow citizens a chance to check the correctness of their names and particulars, no where is it mentioned on whom to contact when discrepancies in the register are discovered by the users.
Besides, these issues, it is worth noting that this is a great step in the right direction. With this kind of trend, elections rigging will greatly be reduced when the results of each candidate are uploaded into the system at each particular polling station. Hopefully, the 2011 election will not incidences of altered election results.