Tigo has won a government tender which will see the company expand its network coverage to 20 news villages in 5 wards of Lindi, Mtwara, Pwani and Tanga regions of the country.
Speaking at the tender award signing ceremony for the ‘Border and Special Zones Phase II Project’ under the Universal Communications Access Fund (UCSAF), Simon Karikari, Acting MD, Tigo said in collaboration with other stakeholders and with the continued support from the Government, Tigo’s mission is to ensure access to the internet for the more than 13 million Tanzanians who haven’t been connected so far.
“We are glad to note that the Government, through the relevant ministry has recognized the existing digital divide between rural and urban areas in terms of broadband access. We are grateful to note that the Government has been responsive enough, a fact confirmed by the granting of this tender that gives us the green-light to provide digital connectivity to rural areas. This will enable the entire country to experience a wide array of economic, educational and social advantages, speeding up development and the overall wellbeing of the community,” he said.
Noting that the tender also gives Tigo an opportunity to support the National ICT Policy, Karikari revealed that Tigo has participated in applying for tenders from UCSAF since 2012, whereby to date, Tigo has connected 107 wards thanks to UCSAF subsidies amounting to more than US $6.97 million.
“This is besides the US $351,860 subsidy for Phase Two that we are signing here today, and the 4 additional wards that Tigo has connected through our own investment in agreement with UCSAF,” Karikari said at the signing ceremony that was witnessed by the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Makame Mbarawa and Eng. Peter Ulanga, CEO, Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF), .
In his remarks, Mbarawa noted that the telecom sector continues to be a critical force for growth, innovation, and disruption across multiple technology industries. The Minister called upon all stakeholders in the sector to ensure digital inclusion for all whilst remaining conscious of existing Government policies and regulations, together with the agreed project execution quality guidelines and timelines.
On his part, UCSAF’s Ulanga recognized that the drastic growth in mobile connectivity has been buoyed by the mobile network operators’ ability to deploy 2G network to about 85% of the rural population and 3G/4G network to urban areas.
“We believe that the increased accessibility to mobile broadband will open rural communities to previously elusive services such as e-commerce, e-health, e-education and e-government, thereby transforming the way people learn and do business,” he said.