Tan­za­nia: ru­ral ar­eas to have bet­ter tele­com ser­vices

Africa Renewal - - Africa Wired - By An­dré-Michel Es­soun­gou

For some 300,000 peo­ple leav­ing in 202 vil­lages in Tan­za­nia, change is com­ing. The lead­ing fixed net­work op­er­a­tor in the coun­try, the Tan­za­nia Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­pany ( TTCL), re­cently an­nounced that it will in­vest over $ 6 mil­lion to up­grade tele­com equip­ment in those vil­lages.

“Our aim is to make sure that ev­ery con­stituency and vil­lage that was lack­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion for a long time has that ac­cess,” Mr. Ka­mugisha Kazaura, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of TTCL, told re­porters re­cently in Dar es Salaam, as he an­nounced the am­bi­tious plan. He added that, “most of the ar­eas where the project is ex­pected to be car­ried out are un­der­de­vel­oped,” not­ing that this was mainly due to the lack of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion links.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Kazaura, the project is ex­pected to com­mence as soon as pos­si­ble, and it will cover 16 re­gions in Tan­za­nia, in­clud­ing Arusha, Tab­ora, Iringa, Kagera, Man­yara, Dodoma, Lindi, Mbeya, Moro­goro and Mt­wara. Other re­gions that have been ear­marked for fu­ture devel­op­ment in­clude Mwanza, Pwani, Ru­vuma, Shinyanga, Singida and Tanga.

The project fol­lows an agree­ment signed be­tween TTCL and Uni­ver­sal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ser­vices Ac­cess Fund, an in­sti­tu­tion cre­ated in 2006 by the govern­ment of Tan­za­nia to, among other ob­jec­tives, en­sure the avail­abil­ity of com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices in ru­ral and ur­ban un­der­served ar­eas.

It also comes on the heels of a num­ber of ini­tia­tives aimed at im­prov­ing ac­cess to telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice in Tan­za­nia. In re­cent years, the coun­try’s au­thor­i­ties have launched a se­ries of ini­tia­tives de­signed to in­crease ac­cess and the use of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies in schools, in re­search in­sti­tu­tions and in var­i­ous sec­tors such as health­care. This lat­est ini­tia­tive tar­get­ing ru­ral ar­eas is also in line with a govern­ment com­mit­ment to en­sure that the en­tire coun­try is wired.

Trevor Sam­son/World Bank

So­lar pan­els and tele­phones.

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