The Eswatini Communications Commission, through the Universal Access and Service Fund (UASF), is dedicated to promoting inclusivity and connectivity in Eswatini by providing high-speed broadband internet access to all, fostering socio-economic prosperity, and implementing a three-year (2021-2024) strategy focused on administering the UASF and supporting projects that offer universally accessible, high-quality, and affordable services based on five strategic pillars.
Programme 1: Bridging The Digital Divide
In the first programme, the primary goal is to bridge the digital divide by bringing high-speed internet to the doorstep of public institutions. The UAS is leveraging innovative last-mile technologies to ensure that government offices and other key institutions have reliable broadband connectivity. It is also committed to making digital services accessible to everyone. Hence providing affordable or subsidized services, as well as essential equipment and devices, to institutions, community centers, and individual users across Eswatini. Furthermore, devising innovative mechanisms to grant access to broadcasting and postal services, ensuring that these vital communication channels are within reach for Emaswati.
Programme 2: Managing Resources For Impact
Programme 2 involves resource management and increasing awareness of our ICT projects. UAS understands the importance of efficient fund and resource management, hence the dedication to ensuring that resources are distributed wisely and transparently. To make the projects more visible, the UASF developed a manual which guides the operations of the Fund, worth noting is that the Fund collaborates with the Commission in delivering the projects and uses resources and tool available to ensure that the funds collected are mostly used for the projects. Notably, the administration of the UASF is directly funded by the Commission, freeing up resources for core initiatives.
Programme 3: Strengthening The Broadband Coverage
The third programme focuses on building a strong digital infrastructure to support the growing demand for connectivity. It is committed to strengthening both fixed and mobile network infrastructure, employing a technology-neutral approach to maximize effectiveness. This expansion aims to increase universal access and service, measured by population coverage and geographical reach. Additionally, enhancing network reliability and redundancy, ensuring that Eswatini enjoys a more resilient and dependable digital world.
Programme 4: Empowering Digital Opportunities
Programme 4 focuses on empowering individuals and communities with digital opportunities. It supports the creation of local digital content across four key areas. Firstly, it enables digitization, and fostering a more efficient and accessible e-government platform. Secondly, facilitating user-generated content, allowing individuals to contribute and share their unique perspectives. Thirdly, promote the broadcast of content that can also be streamed online, providing more platforms to develop and disseminate professional content. Lastly, establishing Eswatini Digital Access Centers, hubs where innovation and digital literacy thrive. It is actively involved in platform and application development, creating tools that empower users and stimulate economic growth.
Programme 5: Building Digital Competence
The fifth and final programme focuses on building digital competence across all sectors and segments of Eswatini. The UASF believes that digital literacy is essential for the successful adoption and utilization of technology. Therefore, providing capacity building to support the use of ICTs (Information Communication Technologies) by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs), households, schools, and various other entities. Importantly, every project the UASF undertakes, from Programme 1 to 4, includes an appropriate element of capacity building and training to ensure long-term sustainability and maximize the impact of these initiatives. .