THE 7th Annual ICT Conference (TAIC 2023), organized by the National ICT Commission (ICTC), came to a close on the 20th of October 2023, culminating with a speech filled with reflection and Government directives for the ICT sector by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology Mr. Mohammed Khamis Abdullah. Participants and invited guests at the conference attentively received the speech, which touched on crucial aspects of the digital economy’s development in Tanzania.
In his closing speech, Mr. emphasized the importance of adopting new and emerging technologies to stimulate economic and social growth. Under the theme “Harnessing Emerging Technologies in the Digital Revolution for Job Creation and SocioEconomic Development,” the conference discussed various topics related to the country’s digital transformation.
Here, Mr. Abdullah also acknowledged the contribution of various stakeholders to the success of the conference and the ICT sector as a whole in Tanzania.
The speech outlined the Government’s efforts to develop ICT infrastructure in the country, including the enactment of laws governing ICT, the establishment of authorities and information centres, and investment in education and training for ICT professionals.
Additionally, the Permanent Secretary urged all participants to prioritize the implementation of the resolutions reached at the conference in country future plans.
The Government, through the Permanent Secretary, issued several directives during the Conference closing speech including that all service delivery systems in the country must now use Namba Jamii which is the National Identification Number (NIDA) for citizens, when accessing services.
He also urged Education stakeholders and the Private Sector to prioritize research on the effective use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies in the Tanzanian context. Furthermore, he directed the Private Sector and Innovators to continue innovating to support transformations in various sectors such as Agriculture, Tourism, Health, Education, Mining, Energy, among others, to boost the country’s economy.
Mr. Abdullah also encouraged the Private Sector and Development Partners to continue collaborating and supporting various government efforts, including providing capital to start-ups, increasing skills and knowledge about digital technologies, and fostering exchange of knowledge and experiences for collective digital transformation.
He emphasized the need for the Government and the Private Sector to continue enhancing communication infrastructure, especially in rural areas, to extend connectivity to remote and commercially nonviable areas. He directed that the exchange of information between the Private Sector and Government Institutions should follow the guidelines provided by the Ministry, using the “Tanzania Enterprises Service Bus” system. The Ministry is currently developing an “Enterprise Architecture framework” to provide guidance and direction for ICT developments in the country.
Furthermore, he instructed public institutions to transition to digital systems in their operations and reduce the use of paper.
He urged Public Service Institutions providing services to citizens to join the One-Stop Service Center’s program, where the Ministry, through the Post Office, has established centers in every region in the country. After the speech, the Permanent Secretary urged all those involved in the Information, Communication, and ICT sectors to work diligently to ensure that the commitments of the Sixth-Phase Government, under the leadership President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan, are efficiently implemented.
Personally, having attended all the previous 7 conferences, this year’s ICT Professionals Conference carried significant elements that, if implemented and followed as instructed by the Government through the responsible Ministry of ICT, as outlined by Permanent Secretary Mohammed Khamis Abdullah, will lead our country to achieve substantial results in the digital economy we are implementing as a country.
• The writer is from the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology.