Australia to support Tanzania in three areas of development

Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General (DG) Dr Jabiri Bakari unveiled this when speaking after holding talks with the Australian government through the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

They met on the sidelines of the ongoing International Telecommunication Development Conference (ITU WTDC – 2022) in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

Dr Bakari said that in that meeting, Australia asked to support and nominate Tanzania as a member of the ITU Council.

He also said that in the talks, Tanzania and Australian government representatives discussed issues of increased cooperation in regional areas, policy, technical issues, and research.

“In short, we’ve agreed to cooperate with Australia in three areas, the policy area, the academic and research area, technical issues across the ICT area,” noted Dr Bakari.

He stated that Australia has shown interest in the presence of three Tanzanian universities—University of Dodoma (UDOM), University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and pledged to continue working with higher learning  education institutions in  Tanzania.

He also stated that Tanzania is to benefit from its active participation in this year’s ITU WTDC – 2022, which provide platform for participants to extensively discuss and set development plans for the global telecommunications sector.

The landmark digital development conference aimed at bringing affordable, meaningful connectivity to the estimated 2.9 billion people worldwide who still lack an Internet connection.

The conference has been organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)—the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Held for the first time in African soil, the conference is geared towards setting strategies to ensure that all communities in the world are connected to communication systems.

The ITU, through its Communications Development (BDT) department, organizes the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) every four years to receive a variety of topics, discuss implementation and implementation of key projects and programs for global communication development and focus on growth of the global telecommunications industry.

ITU WTDC – 2022 is the ITU’s highest policy-making body which also approves four-year strategic and financial plans, and selects a team of senior executives of the organization, member states of the council, and members of the various boards of the Organization under the United Nations (UN).

As an active member and participant in the conference, Tanzania will use the opportunity to seek support from ITU member states to be elected as members of the ITU Council at its General Assembly in Bucharest, Romania, in September next year.

Commenting on the priorities of the telecommunications services regulator in Tanzania, Dr Bakari emphasized that the authority is committed to keeping pace with technological change by ensuring that it cooperates with other countries in the world to embrace and implement the necessary IT reforms.

“Our aim is to see this conference enable TCRA to understand exactly what is the direction of the telecommunications and ICT industry as a whole in the world so that we as a country are not left behind; The telecommunications industry has a tremendous growth rate, and we want to be part of that transition,” he said.

At the September summit, Tanzania will apply to be elected as one of the member states of the ITU Council, considering it has become a hub for connecting countries off the coast of the Indian Ocean to the communication channel through the sea.

So far, Tanzania is connecting Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Malawi, and Kenya and the strategy is to continue to provide telecommunications services to more countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

TCRA’s communications and technology resource management unit manager, Felician Mwesiga noted that Tanzania is involved in making various resolutions for the telecommunications sector in the world and hopes to take advantage of the conference to seek support and voted to be a Member of the Executive Council of the ITU at its general assembly expected to be held in Romania in August later this year.

“Tanzania has become an ICT influential country in our region, our goal is to make sure we use the opportunity of this conference to bid to re-enter the ITU Council during the General Assembly in September this year as this is an opportunity to increase our influence in promoting ICT in this region of Africa,” Mwesiga noted.

He added that Tanzania’s participation as a member of the ITU council will enable the country to manage key issues in the development of the digital economy.

ITU manages three sectors namely the standards sector, the IT development sector, and the frequency sector. ITU WTDC – 2022 was preceded by the Youth Network Conference held on June 2-4 this year in Kigali, where participants discussed cross-cutting issues of various sectors of the economy and how ICT can contribute to economic growth.

In this network conference, Tanzania participated fully through the representation of communications authorities and a delegation of ICT youth from higher education institutions.

The Tanzanian delegation to the conference is headed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Information Technology, Dr Jim Yonazi and assisted by the ministry’s director of sector affairs Dr. Emmanuel Mannaseh.

Other representatives are from higher learning institutions—University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) and of St. Joseph University of Dar es Salaam.

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