Airtel Uganda Launches 1-6-1 service.

Airtel Uganda has partnered with Human Network International (HNI), to launch Uganda’s call-in system, called the 1-6-1 service, that will provide free, on-demand information  for fishing and farming communities with more services like financial information, Health among others set to follow suit in the near future.

The service will provide free public service information on demand to mobile phone users in English and five local languages that is  Ateso, Luganda, Lugbara, Luo and Runyakitara.

Human Network International is a global development organization dedicated to technology in the developing world and is headquartered in Washington DC.

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Airtel users will have to dial “161” to get connected to voice prompts in the aforementioned dialects or over SMS and USSD.

Jamie Arkin, HNI Uganda Program Manager said, ”The service offers  10 free calls every month after which users pay 150shs for every additional call but will enjoy unlimited access SMS and USSD. “


Airtel Uganda is proud to introduce Uganda’s first free on-demand service for both smartphones and regular mobile phones. The 1-6-1 service will provide information on farming, financial literacy, family planning and other public service information which are all relevant to both individuals and communities across Uganda” Said Charity Rwabutomize, Airtel’s CSR Manager.

“The public service messages were created and curated by committees convened by our partner, HNI. These committees included representation from government ministries , plus Ugandans and international subject area experts” She Added.

The call-in system is designed to be very easy to use for all Ugandans, especially those living in rural areas. For farmers and fishing communities, there is information to help prepare for the growing season, and to adapt to climate change. More topics and messages are planned for the service in the near future, such as health, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy,” she concluded.

Other partners  of the 1-6-1 service include Self Help Africa, The Global Resilience Partnership, USAID, PACE, plus government bodies, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health.