THE government has set aside 400 billion/- to improve and strengthen communication infrastructure in the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Fifth Innovation and Technology Forum held in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, Deputy Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Engineer Kundo Mathew Mbali, said the budget is a significant step taken by the government in the past two years of President Samia Hassan’s leadership.
Strengthening of the communication infrastructure, he explained, is a fundamental step in stimulating and motivating technological innovation and creativity.
The two, he said, are basic in building a digital and competitive economy.
The minister praised the forum, whose theme was ‘Innovating policy — a forward looking and integrated approach to policy-making in the digital age’, saying such forums unearth difficulties and challenges that hamper speedy development of the communication sector and the ICT industry.
The forums make very pertinent recommendations to the government, he said.
“Our government led by President Samia Hassan continues to improve the investment environment primarily to attract people to invest in the communication sector and the information and communication technology (ICT) industry. We shall work on the recommendations of this forum in order to promote President Samia’s efforts towards attracting investors in our country,” he said.
The Director General of the Information and Communication Technology Commission (ICTC), Dr Moses Mwasaga, said the commission attaches great importance to deliberations and recommendations of such forums because they seek to solve challenges and problems of the day.
“Challenges discussed in such forums and recommendations made as a result help the government to formulate a policy that is friendly to solving challenges that keep emerging because this sector, too, keeps changing and improving all the time,” Dr Mwasaga said.
He also extolled the CRDB Bank for developing a product (Imbeju) that promotes digital innovation and inventiveness among prospective and budding entrepreneurs, saying that move shall be supported by their commission because, it seeks to improve the livelihoods of the poor who are the majority in the country.
The Executive Secretary of the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), Dr Godwill Wanga, said Dr Samia Hassan’s ambition is to see technology playing a leading role in the growth of the national economy. “In this respect, we peg our hopes on active and energetic small innovators in order to grow and sustain this sector in our country,” he said.