Makerere Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

Makerere University has requested the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to help restore its now defunct campus radio station and also help them set up their own television station that will counter ‘fake’ news.

The request was made Makerere Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe while speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Conference on Communications (NCC) that was hosted by Makerere University’s College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) in conjunction with UCC.

Prof. Nawangwe said that the university had lost its license fees but was now capable of paying up.

“We lost it (license) because we were poor, now we have some money,” he said, adding that the university is also interested in a TV license.

Prof. Nawangwe said that if launched, the Makerere media house would live by the slogan “Amatuufu ddala ddala” (very accurate news) and it will focus on countering fake news that circulate both on social and mainstream media platforms.

Nile Post understands that through its Department of Mass Communication, Makerere University had a radio station until the license was withdrawn for non-payment of license fees a few years back.

In reaction to Prof. Nawangwe’s remarks, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba, who officiated at the event held at Golden Tulip Hotel agreed that a radio and TV station would serve as a teaching aid for journalism and ICT students as well as a tool to share accurate information.

Nabakooba advised Makerere University to table the matter before UCC officially.

Nabakooba said that the government is committed to putting ICTs at the forefront of the country’s transformation agenda.

“Our vision as government is to leverage ICTs to spur economic transformation and improve people’s lives. Technology per se will be of no or little consequence if it doesn’t translate into higher standards of living for our people,” Nabakooba said.

Held annually, the National Conference on Communications is a platform for IT researchers, industry actors, academics and students to deliberate on solutions for local challenges and proposals to improve ICTs in Uganda.

The opening ceremony of the two-day event was attended only by invited guests as other participants followed virtually in observance of the Covid-19 safety guidelines.