Public Service Information in Six Ugandan Languages:
The Launch of #161Ug

Category : 3-2-1 On Demand Messaging

With a free call from any kind of mobile phone, Ugandans now have access to public service information in six national languages: Ateso, English, Luganda, Lugbara, Luo and Runyakitara.

161 = 321

HNI and Airtel Uganda launched the 1-6-1 Service last month — similar to HNI’s service known elsewhere as the 3-2-1 Service.

Airtel callers dial the short code “161” and follow voice prompts for trusted information on Agriculture, Weather, and Airtel’s Mobile Money Service.

During the launch event, Airtel promoted the new service on social media with the hashtag #161Ug. The response was impressive.


As in other countries where HNI has launched the 3-2-1 Service, the technology platform in Uganda is the VOTO Mobile Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Unique to Uganda is the extent to which Airtel Uganda has leveraged the system to promote and educate people about mobile money services: What customers can do with mobile money, how to use it, and the costs

The Agricultural messages were developed with our partner Self Help Africa.

“This new resource delivers practical information in five Ugandan languages,” said Tony Kisadha, Uganda Director for Self Help Africa. “What better way to help Ugandan farmers than to teach them to help themselves, and in their mother tongues.”

More topics will be added in coming months, including Family Planning messages developed with PACE (PSI/Uganda).

Launch Event Photos:


More information about the 3-2-1 Service >>

More information about the 1-6-1 Service in Uganda >>

Photos by Sumy Sadurni