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Tanzania: funds fiasco hampering rural connectivity

September 5, 2013 • East Africa, Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Tanzania’s Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology is seeking to raise more than $148-million to connect over 200 villages located in rural areas by constructing new telecommunications towers across the country.  Local media have reported that the World Bank’s allocation of funds to the Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF) has been met with objection by Tanzania’s government.

Tanzania is seeking to raise more than $148-million to connect over 200 villages in rural areas (image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim)

Tanzania is seeking to raise more than $148-million to connect over 200 villages in rural areas (Image source: Muhammad Mahdi Karim)

The Ministry’s Deputy Minister  January Makamba said that the Tanzanian government are already in talks with the Indian government about the allocation of funds for the project, as the government voiced its objections towards the bureaucracy of releasing funds to the UCSAF.

“If we get these funds, we will then be able to connect all areas that almost many Members of Parliament have been requesting to be connected with telecommunications services,” said Deputy Minister Makamba in a House sitting.

The request follows the Tanzanian government’s displeasure in the allocation of funds from the Word Bank to the Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF), which is tasked with raising funds to ensure than telecommunications are rolled out across the country.

According to Tanzania Daily News, “Makamba was answering to a question posed by Mr Abdul Jabir Marombwa (Kibiti-CCM), who wanted to know when areas along River Rufiji Delta, Mchukwi, Dimani and Mwamba wards will be connected despite some of telecommunication companies promising to connect the services long time back.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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