What Tanzania is doing to cut costs of investing in communication

The minister for Information, Communication and Information technology,Mr  Nape Nnauye, speaks with the chairman of Vodacom Tanzania’s board of directors, Judge (rtd) Thomas B Mihayo (right), during the opening of a new Vodacom Tanzania office in Dodoma yesterday. Photo | Edwin Mjwahuzi

What you need to know:

  • The government has lowered a number of charges levied on investors in the industry, including those levied on the construction of communication infrastructure on the road reserve

Dodoma. The government yesterday provided details on several actions it was implementing to reduce expenses related to investing in the telecommunications sector to keep with President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s pro-business approach.

At the opening of Vodacom Tanzania’s modern office in Dodoma yesterday, the minister for Information, communication, and Information Technology, Mr Nape Nnauye, said the government has reduced the number of levies paid by investors in the sector, including on laying down communication infrastructure on the road reserve.

“Tanzania used to charge $1,000 per kilometre as an initial charge, but that has gone down significantly now,” he said.

He said that, cognizant of the fact that a number of telecommunication towers are built in rural areas where access to electricity is still a challenge, President Hassan has directed the Energy ministry to ensure that such amenities [telecom towers] are connected to electricity.

Telecommunication companies spend up to Sh1.8 million on diesel to run a single tower. “If the towers get connected to electricity, the costs will go down to only Sh400,00 per month,” he said.

Similarly, he said the levies associated with sending and receiving money on a mobile platform were initially slashed by 50 percent, and now they have been brought down further to zero percent.

Meanwhile, the new Dodoma office is an extension of Vodacom’s main headquarters in Dar es Salaam.

It is positioned to provide all services available at the head office, reducing the inconvenience of long-distance travel to Dar es Salaam.

The office also features a refurbished Vodashop equipped to serve customers, including a special inclusive desk for people with disabilities.

Mr Nnauye applauded Vodacom for the investment, expanding its network services, improving the quality of services, and pioneering innovative digital solutions, such as M-mama, that continue to impact Tanzanian lives and contribute to the growth of the sector.

In addition, the availability of 5G network services in Dodoma through the five erected towers makes Tanzania among the few African countries with the service.

The Vodacom Tanzania managing director, Mr Philip Besiimire, expressed his joy at eventually opening a modern Dodoma office.

The office is designed to serve various local and international customers and visitors who come for personal and government-related activities.

It includes meeting rooms, a dedicated room for nursing mothers, and a “Quiet Room” for staff to unwind.

“We are committed to moving our services closer to our customers, and it is a delight to launch this modern office and shop that is comparable to our headquarters in Dar es Salaam.

This spacious and excellent office space takes into consideration the issue of equality and inclusivity for all our customers and staff.

Our main goal is to care for our customers and staff by providing them with the opportunity to enjoy communication and digital connectivity.

This aligns with our commitment to being innovative in providing solutions for communication and accessing our services,” said Mr Besiimire.

The chairman of Vodacom Tanzania’s board of directors, Judge (rtd) Thomas B Mihayo, said the company’s goal has always been to connect Tanzanians with reliable and quality communication and technology services, emphasising digital innovation.

“I urge the residents of Dodoma and its nearby areas to make good use of this office starting today, as it will efficiently provide the different services and products that we offer nationwide,” he said.

He said Vodacom Tanzania was working closely with all government entities, including the Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF), in an effort to deliver communication services in rural areas.

Among the other notable guests at the event were the Dodoma Regional Commissioner, Ms Rosemary Senyamule and the chairman of the Parliament’s Infrastructure Development Committee, Mr Selemani Kakoso.