Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

8 June 2014

Tanzania: ICT Application to Follow August House

A MOBILE application that will enable the public to follow proceedings of parliament sessions and send feedback instantly is in its testing stage.

Business Incubator Chief Executive Officer, Eng George Mulamula of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) exclusively told the 'Sunday News' that the application will enable people to share views in 15 minutes.

"After it has been approved by the National Assembly and the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority, (TCRA) the application will be operational," he said.

Eng Mulamula said that at the moment 50 people use the application but the number will increase thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding with Tigo Tanzania that will scale up with a bigger server that will see 800,000 people using it at a go.

He said that with investment, the ICT sector can be a big contributor to the gross national product adding that there are currently 12 other mobile applications that will make a difference.

"During a recent International Telecommunications Union (ITU) meeting in Thailand, the inventor of this mobile application made a presentation and drew a lot of attention, there are currently talks with Kenya about this application," he said.

Some of the applications almost ready for use include an application similar to eBay called Swahili Stores where different products will be sold, an application for Form Six leavers to register for university, one that keeps track of medicines in hospitals, one for the judiciary where one to know when their case is up for mention.

Eng Mulamula said that Tanzanian youth have a lot of talent and that if more people could invest in their ideas and creativity, the applications could be sold both nationally and internationally.

"Sometimes it's saddening to see how people quickly respond to dishing out money for sports and beauty pageants yet are very reluctant to invest in a brilliant idea that will later sell," he said.

He said that it was high time that Tanzanians realise that intellectual property is a valuable asset and that a lot of advocacy is needed to change people's mindset.

Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa said during the signing of the MoU with Tigo that Tanzania is digitally connected through mobile phones.

Prof Mbarawa cited that "Tele-density was close to 60 per cent in 2013 compared to 3 per cent ten years ago, largely attributed by mobile phones.

On the other hand, broadband use is also increasing whereby use of Internet services has increased from 3.56 million in 2008 to 9.3 million in 2013," he said.

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