Annual Meeting Contributed Papers 2009 START Conference Manager    

The Impact of ICTs on Politics in Uganda: The Convergence of Radio and Telephony in the Power Contest between the Resurging Buganda Nationalism and the Central Government

Samuel Muwanguzi

(Submission #57)


This paper examines the impact of information communication and technologies (ICT) on politics in Uganda by highlighting the power contest between the re-emerging traditionalism and the flagging influence of nationalism in the country. The analysis is placed within a globalized information revolution that swept through Africa resulting in the liberalization of the telecommunications sector; radio, television, and 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.

The paper presents a brief historical perspective to clarify the factors responsible for this power contest between the two previously erstwhile allies. Using newspaper articles from the three major newspapers in Uganda that highlight the political contest between the central government and the resurgent Buganda kingdom as the data set, the paper demonstrates that the convergence of ICTs can, rather than result in homogeneity of global cultures, revive and rejuvenate previously dormant and suppressed traditional institutions into powerful political opponents to national governments. The paper also suggests how the conflict can be resolved and how ICT can 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.

START Conference Manager (V2.54.6)