[kictanet] [Fwd: [i-network] Introducing the Uganda ICT Consumer Protection Association]
alice at apc.org
Tue Mar 17 08:56:38 EAT 2009
*Introducing the **Uganda ICT Consumer Protection Association (UICPA)*
Following a series of discussions on various mailing lists and
especially on the I-Network ICT Mailing list for the past 2 to 3 years
in regard to ICT services and products in Uganda, a few individuals
decided to explore the idea of bringing together grieving ICT consumers.
These individuals have now set up the Uganda ICT Consumer Protection
Association. The association recognises the existing institutions and
channels of dealing with consumer concerns and will work collaboratively
with these institutions with the aim of improving ICT services and goods
for the consumers.
>From Internet services to voice services and all the way to hardware
products, the situation is running out of control, and the few bodies
mandated to protect consumers like the Uganda Communications Commission
and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards seem to be overwhelmed by
their wide mandates, limited budgets and inadequate human resources.
The association is membership based and membership is open to all ICT
consumers and stakeholders. The association aims at achieving the following:
1. Providing a collective platform / voice through which ICT
consumers concerns can be addressed, for example billing complaints
2. Addressing poor quality of voice and data services
3. Addressing ICT goods and services pricing irregularities that
result in loss of money by consumers
4. Evaluating performance of the universal service fund under the
Uganda Communication Commission (UCC).
5. Addressing the high failure rate of hardware, for example
promotional mobile phones
As a start, the association has been duly registered and letters of
introduction were sent out in February 2009 to various stakeholders
informing them of the set up of the new association including Uganda
Communications Commission, Ministry of ICT, Uganda National Bureau of
Standards and Uganda Consumer Protection Association.
*How will these aims be achieved?*
The association will provide complementary activities and services to
the already existing channels and institutions for addressing the above
5 issues. This will be done through 3 main approaches:
1. *Awareness creation:* The association shall carry out awareness
creation and sensitisation activities within ICT consumers. This
shall be aimed at making them more aware of their rights as ICT
consumers, provide them with information on the channels and
institutions that provide solutions and redress for complaints
raised and above all work with service and goods providers to
ensure that information regarding customer care, access,
availability and reach are easily available and known by ICT
1. *Advocacy:* The association shall carry out advocacy for better,
revised and new consumer laws as well as the upholding and
consideration of ICT consumers in Uganda. The advocacy shall be
based on the consumers’ experience and emergent issues that shall
arise as the association carries out its aims. The advocacy
activities shall also seek to get better terms from goods and
service providers in the country to allow ICT consumers and
providers enjoy mutual benefits.
1. *Collective Voice:* The association shall register and take note
of issues, complaints and compliments from ICT consumers regarding
ICT goods and services in the country. The association shall seek
redress for ICT consumers on a collective basis where issues with
service and goods providers have been reported to providers,
relevant government authorities and yet no action has been taken.
The association shall use its strength in numbers to seek for a
solution for these issues.
The association shall provide a forum to ICT consumers to discuss and
share information on issues affecting ICT consumers in the country. The
association shall use this forum and the knowledge generated at the
forum to carry out advocacy and awareness activities as part of the
development of the ICT sector in Uganda.
For more information on the association and how it can help you please
contact the association
Plot 53 Kira Road
Email: report at ictconsumer.or.ug
Web: _www.ictconsumer.or.ug <http://www.ictconsumer.or.ug/>_
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