ICT Initiatives are currently ongoing at national level in the areas of eInfrastructure and Education (Science, Technology and Higher Education Program, Tanzania National Research and Education Network, eLibraries, Education Management Information System), eHealth, Information Society & Entrepreneurship (TANZICT project, Dar Teknohama Business ICT Incubator, Binu Innovation Hub) and the Tanzania ICT Technology Park.
Science Technology and Higher Education Program (STHEP)
Science Technology and Higher Education Program (STHEP) is funded as a World Bank IDA loan of $100 million to the Government of Tanzania, implemented through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) program with support from the Ministry of Communication Science and Technology (MCST). This was initially a seven-year program, which was approved in 2008 and divided into two phases of activities. APL1 activities were to be implemented within the first two years and APL2 activities were to be accomplished within the last five years of the program. The long-term purpose of STHEP was to improve development of human capital in area of Science and Technology (S&T) and create a knowledge-based economy within the next ten years. 128 Higher Education and Research Institutions (HERIs) were identified as being under the STHEP program.
STHEP had four program components: Component 1A - Investments in Priority Discipline for Economic Growth; Component 1B - Expanded capacity for Teachers preparation and for graduate's studies in education; Component 2A - Strengthening Key Higher Education Agencies and Institutions; Component 2B - Investments in ICT based Higher Education Systems. STHEP Component 2B was focused on four (4) major areas being; National Research and Education Network (NREN), Education Management Information system (EMIS), E-Library, and E-Learning. Shared mechanisms to support the implementation of Component 2B of STHEP have being established between all 128 HERIs under this program.
The final findings of the feasibility study for the development of E-libraries and EMIS was presented on 18th December 2012. The piloting of the e-learning system commenced in February 2013 with five Universities. The piloting for E-libraries and EMIS will be undertaken with eight institutions from February 2013.
In June 2014, the Program was extended for a further 18-month period with an additional loan of $15 million to finish existing activities ($6.37 million) and commence new activities to pilot reforms introduced by STHEP-1 related to secondary school science teachers and support the tertiary education system to be more responsive to the labour market demand.
Funding agency: World Bank, IDA credit, $100 million + further $15 million
Tanzania National Research and Education Network (NREN)
Within STHEP, a major objective of component 2B was to set up TERNET in 2008 as the National Research and Education Network (NREN) to: better manage the increasing numbers of students as the education sector expands; improve the quality of data used in decision making and resource management; enhance knowledge sharing; improve transparency; improve classroom student-teacher participation; and improve research capability. It was envisaged that over time the NREN would enable HEIs (Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Research Institutions to link to the Internet and to exchange information between institutions. It also aimed to facilitate advanced teaching at Universities, research and Community services. It should help to alleviate the cost and isolation challenges currently faced by institutions and individuals in rural areas as well as linking the Tanzanian HEIs and research institutions to the international research and education networks.
The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania through the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST) built the National ICT Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) infrastructure Backbone (NICTBB). The NICTBB connects all district and regional headquarters in the country. The project officially started in February 2009.
128 Higher Education and Research Institutions were identified to be connected through the NREN. Because of the limited funds available for phase 1 of the STHEP implementation, recommendations were made to connect only 28 higher education and research institutions in phase 1 and the remaining institutions to be connected in phase 2. By December 2014 18 Institutions will be connected with a minimum of 8Mbps connectivity.
Building on the NICTBB and NREN, STHEP intended to implement both an Education Management Information System (EMIS) and an e-Library system to support education and research activities. The e-Library system includes both library management system (LMS) functionality, as well as digital library functionality, i.e. making digital content available for direct access by end users through digital technologies. The EMIS and e-Library systems may each consist of more than one software application.
The piloting for E-libraries and EMIS was undertaken with eight institutions from February 2013. Individual consultants were hired by COSTECH to deploy EMIS and E-library systems. Eight institutions, including national agencies were selected as pilots for the EMIS system; five out of the eight institutions were pilots for the E-library system. The pilot institutions were Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Mzumbe University (Morogoro Campus), State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), Higher Education Student Loan Board (HESLB) and National Council for Technical Education (NACTE).
Initially the Open University of Tanzania (OUT), Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), College of Business Education (CBE), Ardhi University (ARU), Herbart Kairuki Memorial University of Medicine, Institute of Transport, Mikocheni Agriculture Research Institute (MARI), Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization (TIRDO) were connected to the COSTECH NOC and directly linked with European GEANT2 through the Ubuntu Alliance.
Eighteen institutions (Ardhi University (ARU); Aga-Khan University (AKU); Hubert Kairuki Memorial University; Open university of Tanzania; Mzumbe university (Dar es salaam); College of Business Studies; Dar es salaam Inst.of Tech.(DIT); Ifakara Health Institute; National Institute for Medical Research; Sokoine University of Agriculture; National Council for Technical Education; Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology; Sokoine University of Agriculture; Insitute of Social work; Higher Education Students' Loans Board; University of Bagamoyo; Institute of Adult Education; Muhimbili wellcome programme (MWP)) are connected to the NoC. Through AfricaConnect2, TERNET has secured 4 STM-1s.
Funding agency: World Bank
In 2013, Tanzania launched the national e-Health Strategy (2013 - 2018) as an important milestone in the transformation of the healthcare system by ICT. It focuses on delivering a safer, high-quality, equitable, efficient, and sustainable health system that is equipped to respond to emerging health sector cost and demand pressures. A Digital Health Investment Recommendation Roadmap was developed through a consultative process with the Ministry of Health, President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG), other Government departments and agencies, health management teams, health facilities and training institutes and partner organizations.
e-Health initiatives currently ongoing include:
- e-Health infrastructure - The Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC), its MDAs, national, specialist, zonal and regional referral hospitals and district hospitals are connected to the National ICT Backbone.
- Healthcare Service Provision - Work is ongoing on the integrated Health Facility electronic Management System (iHFeMS) at different levels covering various functions of the health facilities. i.e. National hospital, Zonal hospital, regional referral hospitals, district hospitals, health centres and dispensaries. It is now possible to determine who many patients a doctor has seen, patient confidentiality has improved, test results can be accessed quicker and decision-making processes have been improved through computerization of Health Management Information Systems (HMIS- MTUHA). In January 2016 the Guidelines and Standard for integrated Health Facility electronic Management System (iHFeMS) was made available to standardise roll out.
- Establishment of one source of facility information - T he Health Facility Registry (HFR) System provides standardized health facility data (including unique identifier, geographical location, facility type, ownership, operating status, contact details, infrastructure and services provided by the facilities).
- An electronic Logistic Information System (eLMIS) is used at national level to manage reports and requisition as well as distribution of health commodities
- An electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (eIDSR) system has been introduced to collect epidemic prone and public health importance diseases from health facilities.
- A telemedicine network has been piloted in seven health facilities named Amana, Temeke, Mwananyamala, Tumbi, Bagamoyo, Mbeya referral, and Muhimbili National hospital. The network is mostly used for tele-consultation from specialized hospitals to non- specialized hospitals.
In 2010 the Government established the eGovernment Agency to coordinate, oversee and promote eGoverment initiatives. A number of eGovernment systems have been deployed including the National Payment System (NPS) which comprises of the Tanzania Interbank Settlement System (TISS), Electronic Clearing House (ECH), Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and Retail Payment System (RPS).
TANZICT was an Information Society and ICT Sector development bi-lateral project between the Government of Tanzania and the Government of Finland, which is hosted by COSTECH from August 2011 to December 2016. It focused on strengthening the Tanzania Information Society through a revision of the national ICT Policy and associated Implementation, strengthening the institutional capacity of MCST and creating a Tanzania Innovation programme. It created a community spirit through support for pre-Incubation, training for women entrepreneurs, community events and hands-on support.
TANZICT set up an open Innovation Space and pre-Incubation space in October 2011 on the ground floor of COSTECH, which is now called Buni Hub. The Innovation Space provides co-working space with WiFi Internet access for up to 40 people, a meeting space for up to 60 people, regular training and networking events.
TANZICT co-operated with IIMC in relation to the second IST-Africa Living Lab Workshop in Dar es Salaam in May 2012. TANZICT is providing hands on support to emerging Living Labs in Iringa, Kigamboni, Mwanza, Mbeya, Zanzibar and Arusha.
TANZICT launched the FEMTANZ 3-month Programme in December 2012 to provide business support training to women who wish to establish the grow their own technology-enabled businesses.
TANZICT and DTBi launched joint Call for Pre-Incubation and Incubation.
TANZICT and COSTECH launched an ICT Innovation Fund in 2012 to provide seed funding to develop a prototype or pilot a service, which is managed by COSTECH and funded by TANZICT The grant ($7,000 - $10,000) is focused on funding development of a prototype, technical work and technical skills but is not aimed at supporting the running costs of a start-up. It is a requirement that the recipient is hosted at an existing Incubator or Hub such as DTBI, Buni Hub, university incubator or KINU Innovation Hub that can provide mentoring and monitor their progress. The first Call for Applications closed in November 2012, received 25 applications with the first cohort of six grantees announced in April 2013 with funding of €50,000 in total. The second call received 44 applications with ten grantees announced in October 2014 and funding of €70,000 in total. The third Call closed in September 2014 and seven projects were funded. The fourth Call closed in May 2015 and received 137 proposals of which 18 innovators were awarded grants with a total funding of €155,000.
COSTECH is a partner in the SAIS regional project, which commenced in July 2017.
Funding : Government of Finland, 5 million euro (Sept 2011 - August 2015, extended to December 2016)
The ICT Technology Park, a Public and Private Partnership between the Government of Tanzania and SEACOM, will become a focal point for innovation, and include an Incubator providing co-working space, seed funding, training and mentorship for ICT entrepreneurs. Good progress has been made in identifying locations. The areas for the park has been confirmed in Bagamoyo and classified as a Special Export Zone, thus attracting low tax and tariffs, with SEACOM providing bandwidth. The data centre will be managed by NIDA as a 2 Tier data centre suitable for government, private sector and multinationals. The Park will help provide jobs by housing multinational enterprises and startup incubators, which will encourage them to interact.
Preparation of a master plan for the Park is expected to be completed by December 2017. Quality infrastructure and high Internet connectivity will be made available within the ICT park. The national backbone is directly connected to India and neighbouring countries. The park also aims to house a University for research and development in the long run.
Funding : SEACOM and COSTECH