THE government is committed to continue improving business environment to boost mobile telecommunication services which are driving enormous changes to the lives of the people, the Vice President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan has said.
Speaking during the official opening of GSMA Mobile 360 conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Vice President said mobile telecommunication industry has helped to improve lives of people through digital financial services and the government is keen to help in extending the services further to rural and urban areas.
“Digitized payments and advancement of financial inclusion have broadened access to financial services which has resulted to improved lives, particularly in rural areas,” the VP told the audience at the conference which brought together key players in the industry from across the globe.
The VP pointed out how mobile money services have become key complement to traditional banking in expanding access to financial services in regions where only a third of adults have formal bank accounts.
“It gives me great pride that Tanzania is among leading countries in terms of deployment of mobile financial transactions with rapid expansion of digital financial inclusion, she said. The Vice President said mobile phone industry has a significant role to play in attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its 169 target with varying degrees, the Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, remarked yesterday.
She said the booming industry can as well contribute significantly on achieving African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and Tanzania’s Development Vi sion 2020. “One cannot talk about the attainment of SDG number nine on industry, innovation and infrastructure or quality education and eradication of poverty as well as climate action without direct coloration of the role of the mobile industry,” the VP remarked.
Ms Samia noted however that the government of Tanzania had already embarked on implementation of first phase of the Tanzania Vision 2020 which will be hinged on developing an industrial based economy.
“The need for a vibrant mobile phone industry that will support the industrialization and its correlated sectors is inevitable,” Ms Samia “I thus commend organizers of the event for the theme; ‘Making Mobile Work for Sub-Saharan Africa;’ it is evident that it is only through mobile phone industry that we can unlock economic potential of the region.”
She noted further in a region where 60 per cent of the population lives in rural areas and where 57 per cent of them are not connected to mobile phones; it was suffice to conclude that such people are locked away from potential opportunities that come with mobile phone connectivity.
“This means that the larger population in Sub-Saharan Africa is locked away from services such as financial and digital inclusion, e-health and e-education among others. “To abate this situation, the mobile phone industry has a critical role to play and this need to be complemented by governments, international community, private sector and civil society organizations,” she remarked.
The Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the government of Tanzania would continue putting into place conducive environment for companies in the communication industry and other sectors of the economy.