TANZANIA and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have entered into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)-a move which now pave the way for extending further the National ICT Backbone Infrastructure (NICTBB) to the latter through Lake Tanganyika to foster the regional integration agenda.

The two countries have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) where TTCL Corporation and Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC) are in agreement with the Congolese Post and Telecommunication Corporation to collaborate in e-commerce, communications and postal business.

The step was reached following the October last year’s Tanzania – DRC ICT Investment Forum held in Lubumbashi.

During the forum, Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mr Nape Nnauye, promised to link the DRC with the submarine Data Cable to provide an alternative for the country to access subsea cable through the Indian Ocean.

In the ceremony, the Director General of TTCL Corporation Engineer Peter Ulanga represented Minister Nape alongside the Acting Business Director of TPC Mr Costantine Kasese and the delegates from DRC and the country’s embassy in Dar es Salaam.

“After this signing, we will prepare a joint action plan to execute the implementation of the agreements for effective completion of this project. The fibre optic from Kigoma port to DRC’s Kalemie Port will be 160-kilometre long and will be laid through Lake Tanganyika,” Eng Ulanga said shortly before signing.

Eng Ulanga said the project would be important since it will open up communication channels between the two countries as well as other neighbouring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique and other countries in the Continent.

The backbone would facilitate data linkage to up to 15 countries bordering Tanzania and DRC.

“Let me thank the Congolese Post and Telecommunication Company for this step, Tanzania and DRC will be the only African countries having access to fibre optic cable communication through East Africa in the East coast to the West Coast Atlantic Ocean. The government therefore remains optimistic that this project will be successful,” Eng Ulanga Added.

For his part, Mr Kasese from TPC elaborated that the signed MoU will enhance, among others, opening an online shop, sending and receiving parcels and other cross border business.

He added that delegates from DRC are interested in TPC’s locally sourced ICT system; therefore the two countries should look forward to sharing technology transfer.

In his vote of thanks, DRC’s Embassy Chancellor Nshimbe Ngoy said his country was grateful for the milestone, adding that it was looking ahead to realizing a common goal in the future.

Last year, President Samia Suluhu Hassan visited DRC where she discussed with her counterpart Felix Tshisekedi several areas potential for their two countries to collaborate.

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