Tanzania focuses on expansion of national fiber networks

In a significant stride towards enhancing the nation’s digital economy, the Government has unveiled ambitious plans to accelerate connectivity through the National Fibre Optic Cable network, known as the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB).

Minister of Information, Communication, and Information Technology Mr Nape Nnauye took center stage at the SabaSaba ICT forum held during the 47th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF), to announce this groundbreaking initiative with a strong commitment to inclusivity, the government aims to extend the national fiber network to every district, ensuring seamless integration of even the remotest corners of the country into the digital era.

During the event, Minister Nape issued a clear directive to the Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) Chief Executive Officer, emphasizing on the importance of ensuring the successful implementation of this project.

Minister Nape emphasized the government’s intention to enhance the legal framework, policies, and guidelines that will facilitate the growth of the digital economy insisting on a need to do away with old regulations and policies that might stand as an impediment to sector growth.

He stated: “Tanzania must forge ahead in digital economy development; we cannot afford to lag behind. Our laws, policies, regulations, and strategies must align with those aimed at fostering digital economic growth.”

The Minister assured that various platforms will be established PayPal and others to enhance digital economy growth.

Addressing ICT stakeholders including CEOs of institutions under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology, Minister Nape elaborated on the government’s plans to introduce a Startup/Innovation Policy.

The policy aims to stimulate the development of digital innovations that will contribute to the growth of the digital economy.

Minister Nape explained that under the leadership of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the government’s objective is to build a digital economy by strengthening infrastructure, implementing favorable policies and laws, and participating in international platforms that support digital economic growth.

Tanzania holds membership in the Executive Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Furthermore, Minister Nape highlighted the government’s commitment to ensuring nationwide distribution of fiber optic services to every district within the current fiscal year, through the Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL).

He instructed the Director-General of TTCL, Engineer Peter Ulanga, who was present at the launch, to ensure the completion of the fiber optic distribution as planned, given the availability of the budget.

According to the latest Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA)’s communication sector report, the national network penetration currently exceeds 95 per cent.

Minister Nape provided an update on the progress of telecommunication infrastructure projects, stating that the construction of 758 telecommunication towers and the capacity expansion of 304 towers in rural areas are underway. These achievements follow the signing of tower construction agreements witnessed by President Samia Suluhu Hassan on May 13, 2023, in Dodoma.

The commitment shown by the Minister and the government’s determination to foster the digital economy represent a significant step forward in Tanzania’s technological advancement. With a focus on developing relevant policies, strengthening infrastructure, and promoting innovation, Tanzania is well-positioned to fully leverage the potential of the digital revolution and contribute to its economic growth in the years to come.

During his visit at the exhibition, Minister Nape had the opportunity to tour the booth of the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Information Technology, as well as other institutions located at ‘TEHAMA Village.’

He officiated a Special Digital Economy Forum organized by the Ministry, where he reiterated the Government’s commitment to enhancing ICT services and highlighted the country’s impressive standing in international rankings. Notably, the country holds the second position in Africa for effectively utilizing ICTs.

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