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Tanzania’s telecoms sector can contribute to her industrialization agenda

By John Nangi (UCC, UDSM)

It is well-known that the Government is striving to drive the country towards its goal of becoming a semi-industrialised, middle income country by 2025.

Within this, a specific priority area is fostering economic growth and industrialisation across the country and envisages an important role for the private sector in driving the country towards this.

To date, the private sector has already proven its credentials when it comes to its contribution to the economy. Taking one of the country’s major sectors – telecommunications – as an example, it is easy to see the economic benefits.

In 2016 alone, the economic contribution of the mobile industry was $2.5 billion. This is set to rise to more than $4 billion by 2020 – accounting for more than 6 per cent of Tanzania’s GDP[A1] .

If we want to guarantee and support this added value, it is essential the right market conditions are created.

Currently we have eight telecommunications firms operating in Tanzania. While more may seem better, sadly the opposite is the case for the telecommunications sector.

Reducing the number of companies will encourage greater investment into the sector, which subsequently improves the customer experience.

By merging two companies together, current customers of either will be able to use the services provided by both. Customers will therefore get better value for money, with access to a broader and stronger network.

Encouraging the consolidation of the sector, by merging two operators, would bring about tangible benefits and allow the sector to continue providing and developing the high-quality services we are becoming accustomed to.

 [A1]Source: https://www.gsmaintelligence.com/research/?file=783bb9b0ab8e6e53361607a838d25dcb&download