Kiswahili contents uplift number of internet users in Tanzania

A NUMBER of internet users in Tanzania has increased by 17 per cent in the past one year.

According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA)’s performance report for the quarter ending June 2023, the number has increased to 34.05 million, up from 29.2 million recorded during the same period last year.

The report has attributed the increase to the availability of Kiswahili contents on various digital platforms.

Mentioning several factors that contributed to the increase of internet users in the country, TCRA’s Director General, Dr Jabiri Bakari said availability of Kiswahili contents is driving internet adoption throughout Tanzania.

“As Tanzania’s digital landscape continues to evolve, the role of Kiswahili content in fuelling internet adoption cannot be underestimated,” the TCRA boss remarked.

He added that there was a need for continued efforts to support the development of local contents and language-specific applications to cater for the needs of the Tanzanian audience.

“As the internet becomes an integral part of daily life in Tanzania, TCRA remains committed to ensuring that communication sector regulations foster innovation, competition and accessibility while safeguarding the interests of consumers,” he added.

Dr Bakari expressed optimism that the number will increase more as the government slashed Right of Way (RoW) charges from 1,000 US dollars to only 100 US dollars per kilometre of laid fibre optic cable.

“This exponential growth is expected to unlock a multitude of opportunities for businesses, individuals and contribute significantly to the overall development of our nation.”

The report also unveils video streaming as among internet services that consumed the most significant bandwidth, measured in gigabytes (GBs) in the said period.

On the areas, YouTube leads other platforms with a staggering 50.18m GBs of bandwidth consumed during the said period.

“The platform’s extensive library of videos and diverse content has made it the preferred destination for Tanzanians seeking entertainment, education, and information,” the report suggests.

Facebook comes second, according to the report, with 49.49 million GBs of bandwidth consumed as TikTok follows with 33.6m GBs.

In the same period, WhatsApp and Instagram maintained strong presence in the country as the former utilised 33,302,072 GBs while Facebook-owned Instagram secured a solid position with approximately 15m GBs of bandwidth usage.

On the other hand, the report indicates that other Google services, including various applications and platforms, collectively consumed approximately 13m GBs of bandwidth usage in the said period as Amazon services experienced the lowest bandwidth consumption, accounting to only 2.6m GBs.

On his part, TCRA’s acting Director of Industrial Affairs Engineer Victor Kweka stated that the dossier highlights how enhanced technical infrastructure of various social media platforms has led to the integration of user-friendly features facilitating widespread accessibility and optimal utilisation of multiple internet services.

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