The ICT and National Guidance Minister , Dr. Chris Baryomunsi has urged telecommunication companies and the Uganda Communications Commission to make Internet services cheaper for Ugandans.

Speaking at the listing of the MTN Uganda limited on the Uganda Securities Exchange, Dr. Baryomunsi said the high cost of internet remains a bigger challenge mainly to the millions of young Ugandans and it was affecting the speedy deliver of education , health services and doing business -online generally.

Dr. Baryomunsi said that with the digital economy there are many economic opportunities for Ugandans especially the youth but who cant tap into such openings because of the high costs of the internet in Uganda. He called upon the two major Telecom companies in Uganda MTN and Airtel to lower charges for internet in -order to increase usage and open economic opportunities for Ugandans. The Ministry of ICT gives oversight to the telecom sector and oversee the work of the Uganda Communications Commission who are the national telecom regulator .

Telecom giant MTN Uganda Limited has listed  22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), with trading commencing immediately.

The listing was approved by the Capital Markets Authority in Uganda and the USE. It follows the successful completion of the largest initial public offering in Uganda’s history, raising a record UGX535 billion from applications for 2.9 billion shares (including incentive shares).

“We are delighted with the successful completion of the offer. It clearly shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and its strategic intent,” said MTN Uganda Chairman Mr. Charles Mbire.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ licence,” he added.

MTN Uganda CEO Wim Vanhelleputte was also in a celebratory mood: “Today marks the conclusion of a remarkable journey which has given over 20 000 Ugandans the opportunity to become owners of MTN Uganda.”

“We are particularly proud of our digital m-IPO collaboration with the USE, an African first. More than 93% of the applications were made via the m-IPO platform, with the majority of these investors new market participants,” he added.

The listing allows Ugandans to own part of the company with MTN Group reducing its ownership in MTN Uganda from 96% to 83.05%. It is in line with MTN Group’s strategic priority to create shared value, partly through ensuring broad-based ownership in all operating subsidiaries. This aligns with the Ugandan Communications Commission’s new licensing requirement for broad-based ownership by Ugandans, with a compliance deadline of mid-2022.

“With this listing, MTN Uganda becomes the Ugandan stock with the largest market capitalisation on the USE,” said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita. “We are very encouraged to have helped facilitate the broadest possible shareholder base in Uganda, with regional participation and in so doing, further developing the equity capital markets in this country.”

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