Since 2015, Tanzania has embarked on an ambitious industrialisation drive. As established in the latest National Development Vision, the country aims to transform itself into a semi-industrialised, middle-income economy by 2025.
In this time, the Government has worked hard to build and cultivate a national economy with a broad and diverse range of industries, including manufacturing, mining, and tourism. This has been driven by a combination of investment programmes initiated by the Government and through funding from the private sector.
One key industry which has been contributing to this vision is the telecommunications sector, which has had a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Tanzanians.
The country’s telecommunications sector has produced countless economic opportunities, including over 3,000 direct jobs for people across the country. A further 1.5 million have also been employed indirectly, such as shopkeepers and kiosk owners[A1] .
Meanwhile, the expansion of data coverage has also improved access to a number of mobile services, such as mobile money apps. These services have significantly accelerated financial inclusion across the country – offering fast and reliable transactions, borrowing and insurance opportunities – including in both urban and remote areas, where banks have never established branches.
Tanzania’s telecommunications sector is performing well, however, it is important that we continue to strengthen and improve this sector to ensure its long-term viability.
There are fears that the telecommunications sector is becoming overcrowded, which risks their ability to invest in future networks, as well as innovate.
Owing to this, it is crucial that we take steps to strengthen market conditions.
There is compelling industrial logic to the consolidation of Tanzania’s telecommunications sector. Not only will this enable companies to maintain their profitability levels, it will also allow them to keep up investments in future digital infrastructure. It is therefore in our interest to act quickly to create a telecommunications sector that continues to deliver innovative services, and economic opportunities across the country for all Tanzanians.