Uganda Telecom

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Uganda Telecom Limited
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 2000; 18 years ago (2000)[1]
Headquarters Kampala, Uganda
Key people
Stephen Kaboyo
Mark Shoebridge
managing director[2]
Website Homepage

Uganda Telecom, whose full legal name is Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), is an information and communication technology network company in Uganda.[3]


Following the Ugandan Parliament's passage of the Communications Act in 1997, the Ugandan parastatal Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Company Limited (UPTCL) was divided into four entities:

In June 2000, UTL was privatized when the government divested 51 percent of its shares to Ucom, a consortium formed by Detecon of Germany, Telecel International of Switzerland, and Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt. The Ugandan government retained 49 percent ownership in UTL.[4]

Scope of service[edit]

UTL is a leading total communications provider with a broad range of services in Uganda, including:

  • Fixed voice (copper, CDMA, fixed GSM)
  • Mobile voice and data
  • Dedicated circuits for data and internet (xDSL, FTTx, leased lines)
  • Broadband services (3G, WiMAX, xDSL, FTTx, CDMA, Wi-Fi)
  • Data centre services (hosting/housing/backup/failover)

In February 2009, UTL launched a unstructured supplementary service data-based mobile wallet service called "M-SENTE", using software purchased from Redknee Solutions Inc., a Canadian information technology company. In September 2009, UTL became the first Ugandan provider to introduce the solar powered hand-held mobile phone, locally called "Kasana".[5] In July 2011, UTL estimated their own market share of the Ugandan telecommunication industry at about 10 percent.[6]

Seizure and release of assets[edit]

In March 2011, the Ugandan government seized Lap Green's 69 percent shareholding in UTL as part of sanctions against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.[7] After the end of the Libyan civil war in May 2012, the shareholding was returned to Lap Green,[8] ending a period of considerable uncertainty for the carrier. Since then, UTL has undergone a major restructuring to revive its fortunes.[9][10]


As of July 2011, UTL was a joint venture between LAP Green of Libya, which owned 69 percent of the company, and the Ugandan government, which owned the remaining 31 percent.[11]

Leadership structure[edit]

Stephen Kaboyo has been the chairman of the board of directors since early 2014. The managing director is Mark Shoebridge, who was appointed temporarily on 21 May 2015 as he was leaving the company from his role as chief fixed services officer to lead operations in Vodacom Nigeria. He was re-appointed effective 8 February 2016 upon his return to Uganda to drive the turnaround of the struggling operator.[12] The chief finance officer is James Wilde, replacing John Sendikaddiwa who resigned suddenly in October 2016. The chief legal counsel is David Nambale. The acting chief commercial officer is Ameer Kamal Arif. The chief human resources & administration officer is Emmanuel Jones Kasule, who also joined the team in 2016.

Parliamentary investigation[edit]

In November 2016, the parliament of Uganda set up a select committee to investigate alleged mismanagement at Uganda Telecom, including the allegation that UGX:1.5 billion is missing from petty cash through theft from long term staff in the finance department over a period of many years. Many of the finance department staff involved have been dismissed, been terminated, or have resigned since this fraud was uncovered in 2016 through audits conducted by the new management. The committee's report was expected within two months.[13]

Insolvency, Receivership and Sale[edit]

In February 2017, UCom, the government of Libya-owned subsidiary unilaterally pulled out of the struggling company, forcing the Uganda government to assume total sole control. In April the same year, the Uganda government placed the telco under receivership.[14]

In December 2017, Uganda announced plans to sell a majority stake in the troubled company. Nearly a dozen investors from Europe, China, South Africa and the USA expressed interest in acquiring a stake in UTL.[15]

In July 2018, The EastAfrican reported that of the investors who submitted purchase bids, Mauritius Telecom emerged as the only capable, credible, legitimate bidder, with a bid of $45 million upfront, and another $100 million over the next 36 months, for a 69-31 majority shareholding. Discussions are ongoing to close the acquisition. The Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), has successfully vetted the potential investor.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alfred Wasike, and Emmy Olaki (21 June 2006). "Mpore Quits UTL". New Vision. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Muhumuza, Mark Keith (25 May 2015). "UTL Appoints New Managing Director". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Adengo, Jonathan (13 October 2017). "UTL inks deal with firm in bid to provide faster internet". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 13 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Odeu, Steven (20 August 2001). "Uganda: UTL Clarifies Orascom Telecom Sale Of 80% Stake". New Vision via Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Mugabe, David (7 September 2009). "UTL Launches Solar-Powered Phone". New Vision. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Mugabe, David (18 July 2011). "UTL Projects 30% Growth, Here To Stay". New Vision. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Mugabe, David (29 March 2011). "Uganda Seizes Libya Shares In UTL". New Vision. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  8. ^ IHS (25 May 2012). "Ugandan Government Reinstates LAP Green Networks' Stake In UTL". Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Angumya, Edgar (14 May 2013). "UTL In Turnaround Restructuring". 
  10. ^ Mwesigwa, Alon (25 June 2014). "UTL Out To Boost Subscriber Numbers". Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Reuters (24 May 2012). "Ugandan Government Returns Telecom Stake To Libyan Firm". © Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Semakula, Othman (29 January 2016). "UTL gets a new MD". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Ssali, Godfrey (18 November 2016). "Uganda: Parliament Says Uganda Telecom 'Sinking', Orders Probe". The Independent (Uganda) via Kampala. Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
  14. ^ The EastAfrican (28 April 2017). "Government Places Troubled Telco UTL Under Receivership". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 23 July 2018. 
  15. ^ (19 December 2017). "Uganda to sell off stake in UTL to cover debts". Washington, DC: Retrieved 23 July 2018. 
  16. ^ Barigaba, Julius (21 July 2018). "Mauritian Firm Gets Nod To Buy Uganda Telecom Limited". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 23 July 2018. 

External links[edit]