About 80% of Uganda does not have reliable access to electricity whereas 65% do not have access to the internet. However, it is worth noting that the demand and growth of need for these services are on the rise and it is up to the government and other private stakeholders to ensure this demand is met. As a result, the Winch Hub is a collaboration between Winch Energy and iWay Africa that is anticipated to be an effective way of improving access to the energy and internet across Uganda’s rural areas. Winch Energy is an organization, which offers off-grid renewable energy and technology for rural societies through provision of a source of power and communication solutions whereas iWay Africa is a chief internet service provider (ISP) which offers connectivity over different forms of network such as satellite, fiber, and wireless access.
Therefore, the collaboration of this program will station a remote solar kiosk called The Winch Hub, which will have VSAT equipment meant to supply good quality and at the same time affordable broadband connectivity. Consequently, this will be available across five communities across the Bunjako Island, which is a fishing village with a population of about 20,000 people. Thus, the Winch Hub will have a containerized off-grid design made by Winch Energy, and it will supply the respective communities with energy and communication to business, residential, and public amenities within this rural environment.
This pilot project is one among many other hubs exceeding 250 hubs and remote power solutions which will be developed across rural villages and as a result, provide Wi-Fi, electricity, cold storage, and water pumping services to different amenities. Therefore, these projects will be significant in assisting the government’s broadband strategy, in particular, the objective of having 3Mbps broadband speeds as well as 100% coverage across the rural areas in Uganda by the year 2020.