The United Republic of Tanzania is situated in East Africa, with borders with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Mozambique. It has a surface area of 947,300 sq km, made up to 30 administrative divisions. The population is estimated at 55.451 million (2018, CIA World Factbook) with a literacy rate of 77.9%. 53.56% of the total population is between 15 - 64 years of age. Dar is Salaam has a population of 6.048 million (2018, CIA World Factbook). Dodoma is the official capital and home to Tanzanian Parliament, Government Ministries and major institutions, while diplomatic missions remain based in Dar es Salaam. Zanzibar has its own government and its own Ministry of Education and several other ministries, which do not fall under union matters. The official languages are Swahili and English (primary language for business, Government affairs and Higher Education).
The Government of Tanzania recognises the importance of ICT and Innovation to support socio-economic development. Two of the three main policies supporting Innovation and Entrepreneurship have been reviewed in the past five years: updated Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy to incorporate Entrepreneurship and the national ICT Policy of 2003 as part of the development of a new implementation strategy - updated ICT Policy was approved in 2016.
In relation to Communications, according to the TCRA published statistics, there were 125,616 fixed lines and 41,708 million mobile subscribers as of June 2018, with a teledensity penetration of 99% and internet penetration of 45% for 2017. Over Q3 2018 there has been a net addition of 1,490,172 telecom users, most of which through the two largest mobile operators in Tanzania: Vodacom (+587,908 users), and Tigo (+545,604 users). During the same period, Mobile Money Subscriptions (Mobile Money Accounts) reached 20,855,164 from 20,163,990 in April 2018. TCRA reported 22.995 million Internet users during 2017 compared with 19,562 million during 2016. The Internet penetration rate is 46%. There are currently seven Telecom providers: Airtel, Smart, Halotel, Tigo, TTCL, Vodacom and Zantel.
Mobile money applications are very popular for paying water/electricity bills and sending or receiving funds, with M-Pesa provided by Vodacom Tanzania, Airtel Money provided by Airtel, Tigo Pesa provided by Tigo, Halotel Money and Ezy-Pesa provided by Zantel. TCRA reported 20.28 million mobile money subscriptions as at June 2017.
The digital infrastructure in Tanzania has improved significantly with the fibre-optic network, investment in local Internet Exchange Points, migration to IPv6 and construction of the National ICT Backbone (NICTBB). NICTBB connected to SEACOM in July 2009 and EASSY in April 2010. There is extensive use of VSAT Internet, GSM, 3G, 4G, LTE and Microwave. These einfrastructure improvements have assisted in reducing Internet acccess costs. The Government has introduced a Universal Communication Fund to facilitate telecommunications in rural areas. Tanzania had fully migrated from analogue to digital prior to the agreed deadline of June 2015.
National Internet Xchange Points (IXP) have been implemented since 2004 with funding from ITU. There are currently six IXPs located around the country (Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, Zanzibar, Mbeya and Dodoma). A country level top-level domain has also been established. The national framework for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is being developed. There are more than 15 Tele-centres established, mostly funded by SIDA.
There are 11 public universities, 17 private universities and 26 private institutions of Higher Education.
The Tanzania Development Vision 2025 highlights the importance of leveraging ICT alongside the necessary skills and capabilities to realise a well-educated and learning society; and a strong, competitive economy capable of sustainable growth and shared benefits. The Tanzania Five Year Development plan 2011/12 to 2015/16 also highlighted the central role of ICT to support producitivity.
The National ICT Policy (2003, revised in 2016) articulated ten main focus areas in harnessing ICT in Tanzania which include strategic ICT leadership; ICT infrastructure; ICT Industry; Human Capital; Legal and Regulatory Framework; Productive Sectors; Service Sectors; Public Service; Local Content; and Universal Access.
The Government established the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology in 2008. Renamed the Ministry of Works, Communication and Transport in 2015, this Ministry is among other tasks, charged with the responsibility to create a conducive environment for investment, introduction and use of ICT in national development efforts and government operations. A new Ministry for Education, Science and Technology was established in 2015.
The eGovernment Strategy was put in place in September 2012. The eGovernment Agency is responsible for the design and implementation of ICT enabled public services at a local and national level.
The rapid development of the telecommunications market means that the cost of owning and using digital equipment continues to decrease making ICTs increasingly accessible to the average Tanzanian. The ICT landscape is changing dramatically with the landing of the SEACOM and EASSY submarine cables on the East African Coast. The National ICT Backbone (NICTBB) is being constructed on the Optic fibre cable. The introduction of the fibre optic network through the NICTBB has reduced the cost of phone calls by nearly 40% in the past three years. NICTBB connected to SEACOM in July 2009 and EASSY in April 2010.
Tanzania liberalised the communications sector and established a regulatory authority under the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority Act No. 12 of 2003. Under Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), a Converged Licensing Framework was introduced in 2005. The Licensing Framework consists of Network Facilities, Network Services, Application Services and Content Service Providers. The Application Service license relates to provision of electronic communications services to end users (e.g. Internet service providers, virtual mobile provider, payphone services, fixed/mobile service, financial services, Internet on mobile, eGovernment, eHealth or eCommerce services). TCRA has provided ICT Scholarships for bachelors, Masters and PhD candidates since 2011, with eight students sponsored in 2011, nine in 2012, with a goal to eventually support forty students. The Scholarships are advertised on a yearly basis with a deadline in August.
Under the Bilateral agreement between the Government of Finland and the Government of Tanzania through the TANZICT project the National ICT Policy of 2003 was reviewed and the National ICT Policy 2016 was approved in May 2016. It was formulated within the context of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 and supporting a knowledge-based society. It aims to address opportunities as a result of improvements in eInfrastructure, reducing communication costs and migration to digital television broadcasting. It recognises the important role that the exploitation of ICTs can have on socio-economic development. It aims to: increase broadband access and penetration; improve ICT security and standardisation; enhance management and ultisation of spectrum; promote business process outsourcing; increase innovation via eServices and promote local content development. It also aims to establish frameworks for eWaste and to leverage ICT for disaster management and environmental conservation. This policy will be implemented by the Minsitry for Works, Transport and Communication.