TANZANIA and Uganda are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen an integrated fiber infrastructure in bid to ensure communication affordability.
Briefing the gathering at the occasion to commission the Kikagati-Murongo Hydropower Plant, Uganda Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi said everything was in place for the MoU to be signed.
The 16MW project that will boost the power grids in both countries was commissioned on Thursday by President Samia Suluhu Hassan and her Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni.
Dr Baryomunsi informed the two presidents on how far the National Information and Technology Authority - Uganda (NITA-U) has gone in getting in touch with Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL) in having integrated fiber infrastructure.
"The NITA-U and TTCL had a conversation and agreed on MoU to be signed by both countries in bid to ensure affordability...the MoU is being considered by the Attorney General of Uganda and his counterpart of Tanzania and in a few days to come the MoU shall be ready for signing," Dr Baryomunsi said.
He added that so far after the instruction given, the technical teams from both Tanzania and Uganda have already carried out physical connectivity of the two fibers from both countries at Mutukura border, a step that will allow cross border exchange of data.
"Through engagement, NITA-U and TTCL have also initiated the discussions on the additional fiber route alongside the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Tanga," he added.
According to him, Uganda has been relying on a single route to the undersea internet providers, adding that the initiative through Tanzania presents a reliable alternative route that will see a significant drop in internet prices.
"Uganda and Tanzania share a common border and we have a long history of friendly relations, and both countries recognise the importance of affordable, reliable and high-speed internet connectivity in driving social economic development and fostering innovation" he said.
Adding: "We are working with our counterparts in Tanzania, I'm in touch with the Information, Communication and Information Technology Minister, Nape Nnauye...we are working in many areas of interventions including one network area which addresses the issue of network overlaps to remove roaming charges."
He said the government will continue to prioritise ICT and digital transformation to cope with the global technological changes and achieve progress in many areas.