The ICT paradox in Uganda: The convergence of radio and telephony in the power contest between the resurging Buganda Nationalism and the central government



This paper examines the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the power contest between the re-emerging traditionalism and the flagging influence of nationalism in Uganda. The analysis is placed within a globalized information revolution that swept through the African continent resulting in the liberalization of the airwaves and the telephony which effectively ended the monopoly of governments over the primary channels of communication with the population. Specifically, the paper offers an analysis of how the convergence of the Buganda Kingdom FM radio station, the Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) and the now ubiquitous cell phone, have contributed to the resurgence of Buganda nationalism and is leading the kingdom's power contest against the previously all powerful central government over land ownership. Second, the paper presents a brief historical perspective to establish the context and clarify the factors responsible for this power contest between the two previously erstwhile allies. The paper also suggests how the conflict could be resolved and how ICT could be used productively to maximize globalization benefits while minimizing the destabilizations, dislocations, disparities, distortions, and the escalation of disruptions that caused the power contest and threaten to plunge the country into a bloodbath.