Uganda: Cultural Norms Challenge to Uganda's Social Media Usage - Report

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Cultural norms is still a challenge of Social media usage in Uganda, according to media experts.

This was revealed in a report on Social Media, local government and development in Uganda done political media organization Konrad Adenauer Shifting (KAS) during the 5th edition of Social media conference held in Kampala.

According to the report, many Ugandans still lack quick and reliable mechanisms to make government officials aware of their concerns. Similarly, most local governments have no established system to get quick and reliable information from their citizens.

"Without appropriate tools at their disposal, many citizens especially those in rural areas are ignorant of social media and still find it difficult to make their voices heard in the governance process," report.

The report stated that, for instance, despite the fact that access to internet was declared a human right by the United Nations in 2014 access to internet still remains low but growing.

"Government institutions in Uganda allocate a very small percentage of their institutional budget to Information and Communication Technology. Few institutions also have Information Technology strategic plans in place.

Quoting the 2018 social media guide for politicians, Ms Welter Kerstine from KAS said that social media use is still wanting in Africa compared to other continents.

According to the report middle Africa is at 12 per cent social media use while Europe is at over 90 per cent.

"This shows that there is a big gap between African countries and European countries," she said.

Mr Joel Senyonyi, a spokesperson for People power, a political pressure group who was among the main speakers of the day, said that currently social media is unavoidable, which is one of the reasons government would want to tighten its use.

"People get to hold their leaders accountable on social media and government does not want that. That's why they will go for those criticizing the government and exposing the ills of the government," he said.

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