[kictanet] [Fwd: [i-network] Introducing the Uganda ICT Consumer Protection Association]

alice 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

Kamwokya Bukoto

Email: report at ictconsumer.or.ug

Web: _www.ictconsumer.or.ug <http://www.ictconsumer.or.ug/>_


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