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The Inaugural Communication Law Conference

By Pamela Kiria, I-Network.

Ms Ruth Sebatindira- President ULS, Hon Vincent Bagiire- Member of the ICT Committee, Parliament of Uganda and Ms Ebele Okobi- Head of Policy for Africa, Facebook during the inaugural Communication Law Conference. (Photo by I-Network)

From the 16th-17th October, 2014 Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the Uganda Law Society (ULS) joined hands and held the first ever “Communication Law Conference.” The inaugural conference was held at the Golf Course Hotel, Kampala. The ULS President Ms Ruth Sebatindira welcomed those in attendance to the inaugural conference which was officially opened by the Minister of State for ICT Hon Nyombi Thembo. The conference was graced by legal advocates along with other stake holders in the ICT sector.

The ED of UCC, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi thanked ULS for proposing the need for such a conference. He mentioned that UCC is committed to continue working with ULS. The conference covered various topics such as the right to communication, internet governance, legal issues in the media and cyber security among others. Presentations on legal issues in social media and, internet and human rights were made Facebook representatives Mr Simon Milner and Ms Ebele Okobi respectively. Other presenters included Ms Susan Wegoye- UCC, Ms Lillian Nalwoga- Internet Society Uganda Chapter, Mr Arnold Mangheni- NITA among other discussants.

The need to establish an independent “Communication Tribunal” was reiterated despite the fact that in 2013 the Communications Act was unveiled. Political interference was cited as one of the many infringers to the right to communicate especially in the media. Other factors such as the absence of enabling infrastructure with an example of Bundibujo district having no TV coverage for lack of necessary TV broadcasting infrastructure were also noted.

The Communication Law Conference will hopefully be an annual event.

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