Information, Communication and Technology Minister Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, has urged online media in the country to market the country abroad since they have the capacity to reach a far and bigger internet audience.
The minister was Thursday meeting online media managers under their umbrella “Online Media Association of Uganda [OMAU]” at the ICT ministry in Kampala.
He said Uganda has a heritage, which is capable of attracting tourists to the country, saying it was the role of websites to inform potential tourists.
In his presentation, CEO Magazine founder Muhereza Kyamutetera told the minister that the association which so far has 15 media houses boasts of the highest reach online of about 7 million social media and website platforms.
He also informed the minister that internet is the fastest growing media with 25% biggest reach after radio with 14,564,660 users.
“85% of internet users are between 15-44 years and the most economically active. Mobile internet impact is at 7 million subscription,” he said.
He submitted that online offers an opportunity to promote Uganda locally, regionally and internationally promoting tourism and investment but pointed out that government has ignored websites when it comes to advertising.
“Online is growing faster in Uganda yet they are ignored when it comes to advertising,” Kyamutetera noted while appealing to government to consider online channels, train its communicators to appreciate internet and relax PPDA focused media buying protocols to earn government better returns.
In response, minister Tumwebaze said his ambition is to have a well organised media to involve everyone.
“It is high time we looked for professional agencies so government can outsource and get out of media buying,” he said, noting that government advertising was still scattered hence the need to introduce policy on media buying.
“Procurement is not the problem. It’s a matter of policy now. We need to give out guidelines on media buying,” he said, adding, “Kenya has done it. For us we do not want government to buy media space but procure through professional agencies.
Tumwebaze, meanwhile, urged online media to consider self-regulation and ensuring the integrity of its content so as to earn the trust of audiences.
The chairman of the association and founder of Chimpreports, Giles Muhame, promised that the association would aim at professionalism, mutual growth and national growth.