Tanzania: What Tanzania Should Do to Prompt Creativity and Boost Productivity in Technology

In recent years, measures have been taken by the government and private companies alike to help strengthen the Tanzanian economy. These efforts are part of Tanzania's vision to become a middle-income economy by 2025.

It is well known that this ambition - which was designed nearly 20 years ago - is high on the government's agenda.

The Vision sets out a roadmap of goals that the country wants to deliver by 2025. One of the Vision's key goals is to develop a strong and competitive economy with sustained growth.

Investing in the country's infrastructure forms a key part in helping reach this vision. For example, there has been much discussion recently regarding the roll-out of the standard-gauge railway and the upgrade to the country's road network.

Investment in hard infrastructure will serve as an important tool for helping the country boost its productivity and the speed at which goods can be delivered.

Elsewhere, it is also becoming increasingly clear that digital connectivity is also an important tool for helping to boost the economy. To that end, it was recently reported that over 520,000 people in 45 villages will be connected to the country's telecommunication infrastructure in the near future.

The scale of this project is significant and shows that the country's telecom sector and government are committed to helping the country open a new digital chapter.

This is, of course, positive news as digital connectivity provides a way to access life changing services. For example, Tigo Tanzania has developed a number of valuable services such as mobile money and m-health services, which have provided banking and health services to those who previously were excluded or struggled to gain access.

The impact of these services should not be underestimated. Financial exclusion in Tanzania almost halved between 2009 and 2017, largely driven by the rapid adoption of mobile technology.

However, in order to ensure that more people become digitally connected and can benefit from these services, it is important that we continue to support the country's telecom providers.

Encouraging investment into the sector and providing a supportive regulatory environment are just two ways in which we can ensure that these companies continue to invest in these types of services as well as future technologies.

This will, in turn, open a range of opportunities, prompting creativity and boosting productivity.

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