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Are Ugandan Parties Ready for Digital Campaigning?

Uganda is going to conduct its first digital and mass media campaigns ahead of its 2021 general elections. This comes as the country contemplates holding a “scientific election” wherein social distancing guidelines will be observed. The electoral commission said the official guidelines for the 2021 general election would be issued after consultation with relevant stakeholders. These guidelines will include how much space and time aspirants will be allocated on Uganda’s national broadcasting network. This is a critical issue as candidates have been denied media space in the past. In 2011, opposition kingpin Kizza Besigye was denied paid advertisement space scheduled on the state-owned Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. He won a court case against the media house but the electoral commission is yet to pronounce on this incident. As for the online capacity of Uganda’s electorate, a report reveals that Uganda’s internet penetration is about 42% with up to 19 million Ugandans now connected to the internet out of a total estimated population of 46 million people. The percentage of Ugandans with access to legacy and new media is a drop in the bucket compared to the entire population, and those who are registered to vote.

SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION