The internet is creating new markets and economies that previously never existed. That’s because the internet makes doing a lot of things simple, fast and convenient than traditional methods.
There are an estimated 8 million internet users in Uganda according to the latest stats from Uganda Communication Commission. That figure is expected to increase every other year as more people get online thanks to cheap smartphones, low data rates and more great online services.
Here are some of the things that you can now do online in Uganda.
Read Ugandan news online
The internet has liberated information from being within the custody of just a few media houses to just about anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account. Mainstream media can no longer boast of breaking news thanks to smartphones and social media.
However, mainstream media has been diligent at adopting new media technologies. As such all the dailies at least have a website where they post the latest news albeit after being broken on social media.
Watch Ugandan TV online
Closely following getting news Ugandan online is watching TV on the internet. While digital TV is making inroads to people’s homes following the impending June deadline, some broadcasters aren’t ruling out the internet as a medium of reaching to more viewers.
At least 5 Free-to-air Ugandan TV stations have the option of streaming TV online. In fact NTV took things a little further by going mobile with its innovative NTV Mobi App where you can watch live TV on the go. iRokoTV, the Nigerian-based video-on-demand provider also last year announced it was coming to East Africa with its wide repository of popular Nigerian Nollywood content. However, slow internet that gives online TV a bad rap is responsible for giving conventional TV an edge.
Listen to Ugandan Radio online
Radio is arguably still the largest media in Uganda. It’s probably the most agile media channel that can easily be integrated in almost every conceivable Technology platform — from flash lights to phones and to the internet.
It’s estimated there are about 200 licensed radio stations in Uganda. The FM frequency bands are getting used up and broadcasters are looking at alternatives. Some radio stations offer live ratio streaming on their websites. But some third party providers have built Apps and widgets that enable users to listen to a wide selection of FM radio stations all in one place.
Shop Online in Uganda
Shopping online is an emerging industry that seriously took off last year. It’s like the gold rush or the dot com bubble. Currently, there are more than 10 websites where you can buy and sell stuff in Uganda. Rocket Internet like Jumia, HelloFood, Kaymu and Naspers-backed OLX companies are having the lead in the e-commerce space.
But it will take a while for consumers who have been used to offline brick-and-mortar stores to click and order products online. Consumer education is key as well as online safety or security in the success of e-commerce in Africa.
Internet/Online banking in Uganda
Again the internet’s punchline has always been convenience. After the mobile Telecoms disrupted the banking sector with mobile money — a more convenience, simple and fast alternative — the banks are waking up really fast.
No body likes queues. People have collapsed in those long lines. Now it’s time to “get off the line and get online” as a URA Ad said. Most banks now provide their customers with mobile banking alternative through USSD shortcodes similar to Telecom’s Mobile Money platform. Others are pioneering Internet banking. Stanbic bank, Centenary bank, Barclays Bank Uganda all have internet banking platforms.
Listen or Pay for Music and Videos
The days when radio DJs dictated what music users listened to are overs. Online music streaming platforms that provide repository of local music and videos are emerging every day. Youtube is certainly the undisputed king of online video here, but local alternatives are equally good. Entertainment websites such as Bigeye, Howwe.biz have music libraries. Myziki is a Ugandan iTunes that lets you buy local music.
Send and receive Money in Uganda
Previously you could only send and receive money in Uganda through traditional banks. Then Western Union and Money Gram emerged, but high transfer charges was the right recipe for online options like Remit.ug, World Remit to enter the market.
These websites enable you to send money from your credit card to any mobile number in Uganda. Well, they are mostly used by Ugandans living in the diaspora who wish to send money back home.
Search and apply for Jobs online in Uganda
10 years ago, job hunting was a job in itself. Lack of information and the search thereof guaranteed you a job before you actual job. Today, all you need is an internet-enabled smartphone and a properly written CV. Job sites like Brightermonday, Jobs.co.ug, Ugandan jobline or Linkedin might be sufficient to land you your dream job without much spending.
Buy cars online in Uganda
Buying cars online in Uganda is yet another painless process. You can literally sit on your internet-enable PC and you ride can driven right to your backyard. Right from the browsing through available cars to payment to shipping to registration, all can be done with keyboard and mouse if you have the right information. websites like Checki, befoward, enhance-auto, SBTJapan among others make the process a breeze.
Online Air Ticket booking in Uganda
Finally if you wish to travel, booking an air ticket isn’t much of a hassle either. Airlines like Qatarairways have a page for booking flights in their website. Emirates, KLM also have similar arrangements.
So there you go; 10 things you can do online in Uganda. Some of them are still broken which calls for innovative products that make doing some of the above things easier or faster or cheaper. If we’ve left out anything else, please let us know in the comments.