Views from Fiona: Motopower - Motorola Empowering Rural Ugandan Women

Views from Fiona: Motopower - Motorola Empowering Rural Ugandan Women


Providing connectivity to many rural Ugandans.

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: May 17, 2007


Motorola, one of the leading global phone manufacturers yesterday launched a new product on the market called Motopower. The public function in Uganda was held at Kawempe Mbogo where Sophie Nanyonga became the first woman in Uganda to win herself a Moto kiosk. Motorola is continually forging ahead as a leader in telecommunications and community development. The Motopower product is their way of giving back to the Ugandan community through social development.


The Motopower initiative is designed to bring the power of communication and connectivity to many rural Ugandans who find problems in accessing electricity to charge their mobile phones. This in turn renders them unreachable by the rest of the world. The Moto kiosks will be given for free to women. These women will be chosen according to location, their poverty level and the number of dependants they have. Initially, therefore, this business project will target poor women and single mothers. A typical Moto kiosk will have a solar panel on its roof and can charge 24 Motorola phones at a go. Telephony business has to keep looking for new business ventures because urban Ugandans have access to mains electricity and have discerning tastes to decide on which cell phone to use.

The rural folk on the other hand generally do not have such options and mobile phone companies very well realise that whoever brings services closer to the people first among them will reap big. MTN Uganda started with wireless village phones, but Motorola is going one better. Rural Ugandans will be able to buy mobile phones from those kiosks with all their accessories and can have them charged at these kiosks free of charge! It does not matter what network one subscribes to. As long as they are using a Motorola mobile phone, they dont have to worry about low batteries.

After the launch, Cell2Cell, the official Motorola distibutor in Uganda hosted a cocktail party for their dealers and a few invited guests at Kampala Serena Hotels Maisha rooftop. Nikesh Patel, the Motorola guru in charge of Africa gave a short speech on Motorolas desire to bring communication closer to the people by availing them cheaper products. That done, it was time for a short documentary on the launch in Kawempe and then Blu*3 entertained the guests, who included State Minister of Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem. To officially hand over the Moto kiosk to Nanyonga was Mr. Rogers Baguma of Taangaza, the group that organized the function on behalf of Motorola and Cell2Cell.

With giant phone manufacturers jumping in to improve the lives of Ugandans, especially through empowering rural women, this is quite an awesome partnership. It definitely goes a long way in improving the standards of living of such communities, which will in turn help the beneficiaries of these small businesses improve their family incomes. We applaud Motorola on this unique product and for their desire to help the marginalized Ugandans along the way to achieving their goals .

By Fiona Abaasa
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First published: May 17, 2007
Fiona Abaasa is a visitor of UGPulse.com.

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