As part of Airtel Uganda’s initiative to contribute towards ICT in education and promote reading culture in Uganda, the company has announced that it has connected the national library to free, fast and reliable 4G network.
The announcement made yesterday at the National Library of Uganda (NLU) headquarters means that NLU becomes the second beneficiary after Uganda Community Libraries Association in Kawempe. The company will supply internet for the next two years.
Dennis Kakonge, Airtel Uganda’s legal and regulatory director, commenting on the initiative, said it will benefit the entire country by improving access to records and the overall user experience.
“4G connectivity will offer improved experience in internet-based research and online book access in Uganda. We know that lack of easily accessible content affects the reading culture of Ugandans and we believe that a stable internet connection is a positive step towards fostering a reading culture and increasing knowledge,” he noted.
Stella Nekusa, a director at NLU, said there is a lot to be done and Airtel will help fill the internet need.
“Now we are going to cover 46 libraries and 140 community libraries across the country; this will help us store more old and fragile information,” she said.
Kampala Central mayor Charles Musoke Sserunjoji said better connectivity will empower Ugandans promote reading and research.
“What Airtel has done today is a major step towards enhancing enrollment in public libraries and thus promoting reading culture in Uganda, reading aids comprehension. With access to fast internet, service delivery, especially in education, will be enhanced to the benefit of the community and the nation,” he said.
The National Library of Uganda preserves Uganda’s literary heritage in form of agreements, newspapers, photography, assigning ISBN (International Standard Book Number) to published authors, preserving the writings of published authors, training librarians and translating reading material into local languages, among other duties.
Officials say lack of reliable internet has been a major hindrance to the digitisation of records in the library.