Uganda Communications Universal
Service and Access Fund.
The Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) now known as the Uganda Communications Universal Service and Access Fund (UCUSAF) was established in 2001 by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), as outlined in the Uganda Communications Act of 1997. Over time, the Act has undergone revisions the now Uganda Communications Act 2013, but the Fund remains an integral part of the legislation.
According to Section 3(g) of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013, the UCC is mandated to create and manage a fund dedicated to the development of Rural Communications and Information and Communication Technology within the country. It was majorly setup to contribute to the realization of universality in access and use of communications services in Uganda through establishment of communications projects in areas that are non-commercially viable i.e. left unserved or underserved by the market operations
Over three cycles RCDF I (2003 – 2009), II (2010 – 2016) & III (2017 – 2023), it has evolved to become UCUSAF, with a broader mission of achieving digital inclusivity beyond rural and urban demographics. UCUSAF is currently implementing its 4th strategic cycle. The UCUSAF IV strategy seeks to achieve “Digital Inclusivity through sustainable interventions and impactful collaborations”.
It is anchored in four strategic themes: Access, Adoption and Usage, Value Creation, and Cooperation. These themes are supported by five strategic objectives, resulting in:
(a) Increased Broadband Access,
(b) Enhanced Usage of Digital Devices and Services,
(c) Promotion of ICT Applications and Services,
(d) Facilitating Knowledge Informative Decision-Making and
(e) Enhanced Multi-Sector Collaboration. While UCUSAF operates as a semi-autonomous entity, it functions as a department within the UCC.