The Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) has made changes in the distribution, affordability, and accessibility of the Uganda Gazette through the introduction of the digital edition, named the E-Gazette.
For the past 120 years, the Uganda Gazette, an official legal document and official government newspaper of record, has been in hard copy.
Speaking on Thursday, Prof. Sudi Nangoli, the UPPC Managing Director said that the shift from traditional hard copy to the online platform aims to enhance accessibility and convenience for all Ugandans.
"We made initial efforts to go digital and scaled back, but now we are officially reintroducing the E. Gazette copy. We must keep up with trends as the world moves towards digital, and we cannot remain confined to traditional hard copy," Nangoli stated.
He added that the e-version of the Uganda Gazette is not only affordable compared to the hard copy but also eliminates the burden of dealing with physical papers for proper records keeping.
"The annual subscription fee for the hard copy Gazette is shs1.4 million , while the e-gazette is only shs800,000 . For a nominal fee of shs3,000 , users can now have the entire Gazette at their fingertips than paying shs5,000 for the hard copy,” Nangoli explained.
According to officials, Ugandans and other people can access the E-gazette by subscribing through opening an account on the UPPC website by logging on www.uppc.go.ug and navigating to the 'E.Resources' option.
The Uganda Gazette, a weekly publication by the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC), is typically released on Fridays.
However, an extra ordinary Gazette may be published on any day of the week as needed.
This publication regularly features crucial information, including legal notifications, statutory instruments, electoral notices, and private legal announcements.
Legal notices encompass a variety of matters such as bankruptcies, company registrations and closures, probate proceedings, company by-laws, and changes in names (deed polls), land titles, statutory notices, laws, ordinances trademarks, certificates of eligibility, places for celebration of marriages, security uniforms, physical development plans, commissioner for oaths, boards of governors, mining licenses, copyrights and patents, company resolutions among other important updates.
Despite its rich content, the Uganda Gazette experiences limited circulation as a result of a constrained number of outlets.
This limitation restricts access to this publication, which should ideally be essential for government ministries, departments, and agencies, law firms, professional bodies, private organizations and NGOs, media, the international community and the general audience.
Rebecca Nyakairu, UPPC’s Public and Corporate Affairs Manager, noted that the E-gazette will expand the reach of the Gazette in the public domain.
She noted that with the digitalization process, it will even become more accessible to anyone worldwide with just a click on their digital devices.
"People now have the convenience of accessing the Gazette online, whether at home using laptops, phones, or any preferred devices," said Nyakairu.
She however stressed that the digital transition doesn't mark the demise of the hard copy version.
Acknowledging the preference for physical copies, she affirmed, "Embracing the digital frontier with the E-Gazette doesn't mean saying farewell to the traditional hard copy. We understand that some still cherish the experience of a hard copy. Rest assured, the hard copy will still be available."
According to officials, the E-gazette aligns with Uganda’s digitization strategy and UPPC's recently revealed five-year strategic plan, wherein the chief government Printer aims to leverage technology to enhance their products.
During the launch of the strategic plan, UPPC Managing Director Prof. Nangoli assured that 80 percent of their product offerings will be digitized by 2026.
"As we navigate an increasingly digital landscape, we will harness the power of technology to enhance our products and services for the convenience of our stakeholders."