Dar es Salaam — Tanzania and Rwanda have agreed to work together to promote the telecommunications sector, especially Information and Communication Technology, in order to increase productivity in the sector's contribution to the development of the two countries.
This was revealed during a recent visit by the Rwandan Minister of Information and ICT, Paula Ingabire who was accompanied by her host the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr Faustine Ndugulile during a visit to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) which was preceded by a joint meeting to discuss how the two countries can work together to promote the telecommunications sector.
"As you know, our countries have long-term relations but also both countries are making great strides in the telecommunications and ICT sector; but at the same time are countries that are interdependent in matters of communication, "said Minister Ndugulile.
Ndugulile noted that Tanzania is providing communications service to all seven countries of the East African Community (EAC), and that co-operation between Tanzania and Rwanda has come at the right time given that Rwanda is passing its communication through Tanzania.
Tanzania continues to work to integrate telecommunications services with Congo DRC and Mozambique which Ndugulile said were the only left in the region.
"We want us as Tanzania to be the hub of communication in this region of East and Central Africa" added Ndugulile.
At the joint meeting Tanzania and Rwanda have agreed to share experiences and exchange expertise where each side will have the chance to learn and see the opportunities from the other side.
Speaking on the delivery of telecommunications services to all Tanzanians, Minister Ndugulile emphasized that the Government has already made significant investment in the National Telecommunications Backbone and that more than 8000 Kilometers have been built and work to deliver the backbone services as the main means of communication continues from regional level towards the district and ultimately deliver communication services to all citizens.
"We are building capacity and one thing we as the Government are doing is to ensure that ICT equipments, including smart phones are available where now the Government has waived taxes so that many citizens can buy smart phones in low price," stressed Ndugulile.
For her part, ICT Minister of Rwanda, Paula Ingabire stressed that Rwanda is committed to promoting cooperation in telecommunications services between the two countries and that at a joint meeting the two countries agreed to use ICT as a tool to achieve the goal of digital economy.
"So the starting point is within our institutions at the level of policy formulation, ministries, supervisors, the broadcasting sector and other postal services. We want to strengthen that institutional partnership, and we have had good relations with Tanzanian institutions as TCRA and TTCL (Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd), and with this new ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Tanzania we want to further promote cooperation between us," she said.
Earlier before the press conference the Ministers received presentations outlining how communication services administered by the relevant ministries operate from the Institutions under their ministries and then negotiated before making a public statement; Minister Ingabire and her delegation visited at TCRA, TTCL and the Data Center.