Govt pushes for digital economy

Govt pushes for digital economy

THE government is advocating for innovation and research in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as key factors in realising a competitive digital economy.

Director General of the Information and Technology (ICT-Commission), Dr Nkundwe Mwasaga told journalists on Friday that the digital economy agenda also provides investment opportunities in the country.

He said to realise the plan, the youth have been encouraged to come up with local designed software and hardware which could be sold within and outside the country.

Dr Maswaga said that they can develop hardware and software in learning, teaching and translation of Kiswahili which is highly on demand and sell them through subscription.

He noted that the programmes can also be developed for tourism and transport sectors as steps towards realising the digital transformation of the country's economy.

Dr Maswaga further said that the postcodes and residential addresses system which has been implemented in the country provides an opportunity for trade, stressing the need to capitalize on more than 60-million ICT local market base.

He added that the government is committed to coordinate and promote the innovations so that they go beyond the borders in competing with other countries in a digital economy share.

Dr Maswaga said the government is also conducting massive awareness campaigns to ensure that every Tanzanian has digital foundation skills so that they do not end up being users of imported technologies but players in the industry.

"We need to sell our innovations and services across East Africa, Southern Africa, Africa and the world in general where there are almost 768-billion users and over 3.4 trillion US dollars to trade" said Dr Maswaga.

The ICT sector, he said, is expected to increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 3 per cent come 2025.

Moreover, he said ICT is the leading sector in terms of employment as majority of the services, including mobile money, banking services, e-ticketing, online transport services like bolt among others need access to online infrastructure.

For e-commerce, the public have been advised to access the infrastructure and network of the Tanzania Post Corporation (TPC) for online business as it will ease access to loans since their transactions will be known in the informal economy.

He said through the national fibre optic cable, they will cover all areas, citing the 2G technologies in every country corner whereas the 3G and 4G coverage will be upgraded under the Digital Tanzania project.

In the 2022/23 financial year, he said, they will set up zonal innovation hubs in Mbeya, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza and Dodoma regions to support the innovators in ICT so that they can tap the opportunities within and outside the country.

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Author: NELLY MTEMA in Dodoma

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