MInutes of the Meeting

Participating
1.Alberto Escudero-Pascual
2.Dorothy Okello
3.Louise Berthilson
4.Frank Kitumba

Absent with Apologies
1.Nelson Tashobya

Proceedings

Resignation of Project Officer
Nelson announced last week that he will leave his position at CWRC from the 1 of May, due to an employment at Civil Aviation Authority.
Dorothy has already been in contact with Edwin Mugume, one of the students that participated in the CWRC training in November 2006 and also undertook the industrial training with CWRC during summer 2006. Edwin will immediately join the team as Project Officer.
Louise suggests that Edwin should start to read through all the meeting notes to get a background of what has been going on in the project.
Edwin will work part time in the CWRC project as he still is a student at the University. He will assist Frank in the implementation phase of the project.

Action:Invite Edwin in all correspondence in the future.

Incorrect import tax of SmartBridges equipment
As discussed before, the smartbridges equipment has been incorrect classified by the customs in Uganda and a large tax bill has been issued. The equipment has been classified as antennas instead of radio equipment with sending and receiving capabilities.

Louise urges CWRC to talk to the URA again and point out the fact that a mistake has been made. The proforma invoice of the equipment included remarks, which has not been read by the customs, which clearly stated that the equipment was Radio Equipment.
Louise suggest that CWRC contact the person at URA that Edith Adera recommended.

Shipping of equipment from Sweden

Louise informs that the equipment must be shipped from Sweden this week since IT +46 will be out of office the following 2-3 weeks. She will arrange for pickup on Wednesday/Thursday this week. Schenker will be the transport company.

Louise has been in contact with the Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm to find out the regulations for export to Uganda. The only export document needed is a detailed invoice of the goods that we prepare ourselves. In order to ensure correct classification of goods in the Ugandan customs, Louise says that she has carefully described each item and also added the corresponding customs code according to the Ugandan Revenue Authorities database.

All expected/estimated taxes have been summarized here.

The only item that Louise has not find a suitable classification for is the networking equipment. Dorothy points out that they should probably be classified as "computer accessories", and most of those are taxable as it is just the computers themselves that are tax free.

Frank will consult with some of the local companies in Kampala about switches to find out if they are classified as computer accessories or not and what the import duty is.
Frank also tried to call a contact which might has the answer. The person is occupied in a meeting and Frank will try to reach him later.

Louise sends out the Shipping Invoice to all meeting participants and asks for feedback by the following day (1/5). She will include Edwin as a point of contact at CWRC.

Ministry of ICT in Nakaseke
Frank has during the week got hold of an electronic copy of the project plan and has sent it out to all involved. Frank summarizes the project plan as a good plan with sustainability in mind. However, we should keep in ming that it is still a pilot deployment which might later scale up.
Frank's concerns are that CWRC and the Ministry of ICT Project (hereafter called MICT) are sharing partners, and they (MICT) are also using the Telecentre as the central hub.
All work in the MICT project will be performed by UTL, also increasing the height of the mast at the Telecenter.

Frank has talked to Dr. Turahi at the Ministry of ICT and has requested a meeting between CWRC and himself for a briefing.

Louise expresses her concerns about building parallel infrastructure in Nakaseke, which would be a waste of resources.
Collaboration with the Ministry would be good, but no one can see in what way that would work.

Dorothy points out that the government would not be keen to shift away from Nakaseke.

Louise asks what kind of services the MICT project would offer in Nakaseke. Those will mainly be voice services, Frank replies.

Frank reminds us that Peter (Telecenter manager in Nakaseke) urges CWRC to go on with our initial plan and deploy in Nakaseke.

Louise points out the there are several things that differentiates CWRC and the MICT project, which could be reasons enough to work in parallel. CWRC has a great benefit in comparison to MICT as we are a non-for-profit initiative versus theirs full commercial business.
Also, they focus on Voice services over the Internet while CWRC focus on Internet access (data traffic) and related non-voice services.
In that way, we might be able to co-exist in Nakaseke.
Also, it would feel like we would let Nakaseke down now, if we relocate our efforts to another site. Both Peter and all the partners were so enthusiastic when we were there in November.
And, Peter Balaba is a man with strong influence in nakaseke. If he wants CWRC there, I am sure the partners supports his idea of joining CWRC.

Frank agrees and reminds the group that he has certainly eagerly been waiting for CWRC.

Before deciding whether CWRC should move on with Nakaseke or reallocate the efforts, Dorothy suggests that CWRC (Frank and Dorothy) meets with Dr. Turahi at the Ministry of ICT to see how we can if possible avoid duplication and instead strengthen each other's initiatives.
Frank will get in touch with Dr.Turahi for an appointment later in the week.

Action: Frank makes an appointment with Dr Turahi to discuss possible collaboration with the MICT project.

AOB
Louise informs that IT46 will be on the road the next 3 weeks, For that reason, they can not tell at this point when the next meeting can take place.
Most probably, IT46 will have access to a fix Internet connection in the end of next week (10-11 May).
It was agreed that IT46 would notify a time and day that would suit them for a quick chat to follow up on pending issues.