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THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital

Uganda – Holding forth via the internet Since the 1990s, the Ugandan media landscape has been transforming into a multi-player, diversified industry. Since gaining independence from Britain in 1962, Uganda’s history has been tumultuous, marked by intermittent conflict and lengthy civil war. The United Nations’ World Population Prospects estimated the 2015 population of Uganda to be 39 032 000 with 83,6% living in rural areas. Life expectancy is estimated to be 59,2 years. Whilst there are 41 living languages in Uganda, English is the official language. Both Luganda and Swahili are languages of inter-ethnic communication. The National Budget Framework Paper showed that the economy expanded by 5.0% in FY2014/15, up from 4.6% the previous year. Growth was driven by the food crops, manufacturing, financial and insurance subsectors, as well as increased public investments in construction, mining and quarrying. The private sector also showed signs of recovery. From the early 1990s the media landscape has transformed into a multi-player, diversified industry. The two largest media houses, with comprehensive cross media interests, are the majority stateowned Vision Group and the Nation Media Group, a Nairobi-based privately owned conglomerate. The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) described 2015 as a difficult year for media freedom in its Annual Report, due to the general elections campaigns. Whilst journalists scored some wins in court, there were many cases of harassed journalists capitulating and voices silenced. An extreme example of government intervention was the shutdown of social media for nearly 24 hours whilst Yoweri Museveni was sworn in for a fifth elective term! Service providers blocked access to Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) explained this was ordered by “security organs”. Ugandans have turned to the Internet as a major source


THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital
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