Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) remains the most visited government website mainly because of the need to access tax services.
According to ICT Ministry data contained in the National Broadband Policy, more than 24,689 people on average visit the URA website every month for tax services and inquires.
Mr Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT minister, said this has been achieved because of government’s continued push to ensure delivery of automated services for all government entities such as ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). Government has also been pushing for automated services for local governments.
“ICT has enabled us to accelerate the use of websites as tools for dissemination of information and service provision,” he said, noting that government is seeking to make Internet access affordable under the National Broadband Policy to facilitate online services delivery.
The National Supplier Database under Petroleum Authority Uganda with 1,947 visitors per month follows URA closely, indicating increased activity in the oil and gas sector.
National Social Security Fund (1,705 visitors), Uganda System Electronic Open Data records of Kampala City Council Authority and Office of the Prime Minister (976 visitors) and the e-immigration system (909 visitors) complete the top five most visited government websites.
Two hundred forty eight government websites have been developed on which 297 systems or online applications are provided to promote efficiency and support e-services.
However, according to data from ICT Ministry, URA is the only website that is optimally being utilised while others are operating below capacity.
The URA website houses applications for tax identification numbers, reports on tax collection, registration for payment of different taxes, search for motor vehicle details and stamp duty, among others.
Uganda Investment Authority, which is key in business and job creation receives the least traffic with only 69 visitors per month.
This, according to Mr Tumwebaze could be a result of the absence of reliable broadband connectivity, which will be addressed through ‘connectivity for all’ that is envisaged to bring about affordable digital inclusion.
“When there is full and reliable connectivity, Ugandans will no longer waste time and money to travel long distances to access government services,” he said.
The price of Internet in Uganda has been described as the biggest hindrance to connectivity.
However, government through the National Broadband Policy, will establish ways through which it will seek to optimally utilise the fibre optic infrastructure on the coast of Africa with the view of reducing the cost of Internet.
Even in the shared mobile (wireless) Internet, the cost remains high in an era where competition has helped to drive down ICT service costs.
However, Mr Tumwebaze believes that the recently drafted National Broadband Policy will create an enabling environment for ICT.