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TCRA lifts online television suspension

THE Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has lifted the suspension on issuance of online content services licences.

The development came just a few days after President Samia Suluhu Hassan instructed TCRA to lift the ban on online televisions and ensure that their operations abide by the country’s laws.

“I heard that you have outlawed online televisions, you should now allow them to operate, but make sure they abide by the laws,” President Hassan said. TCRA said in its statement that it has lifted the ban and is currently receiving applications for online content services licences.

Meanwhile, human rights activists have lauded President Samia Suluhu Hassan for her decision which required relevant authorities to remove the ban imposed on media outlets that were barred from operating due to different reasons.

According to the president, the move will help to provide employment to Tanzanians. The National Coordinator of The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC), Mr Onesmo Olengurumwa said “lifting of the ban on media will ensure that our nation continues to have a sound press which has a role to play in pushing forward development agendas.

“THRDC would like to convey our heartfelt congratulations to President Samia for her decision, because some of the online TVs, apart from informing the public, are promoting online individual businesses and artists get an avenue to market their talents,” Olengurumwa said in a press statement released yesterday.

He said that President Samia’s decision to remove the ban was a positive move as most of the youths in the country are using online platforms not only for professional media but also for other social and business activities that might not necessarily need online media licensing.

“Due to numerous dynamics faced today by media outlets, we ask the government to come up with better methods of softening registration requirements for Youtube Channels which are not used as official media outlets.

Even on official Online Media, we ask for reducing licence and registration fees because most of the sites struggle a lot before they can generate profit,” he said.

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