Tanzania’s President calls on Telephone Firms to help build the national backbone


President Jakaya Kikwete has directed the ministry of Communications; Science and Technology get in touch with mobile phone companies and see if they would work together in the construction of the National Fibre Optic Cable.

Speaking last week, President Kikwete underscored the importance of the cable, noting that it was instrumental in pushing forward development initiatives. The cable network will cover 7,000km throughout the country. President Kikwete made the remarks in Dar es Salaam last week when he met Tigo, Zantel and Zain officials who paid him a courtesy call at State House.

He said the Government would like to involve the companies in the establishment of the network instead of each company doing it individually. The officials told President Kikwete of their intention to cooperate in the construction of the network. This comes after the companies had initially shown reluctance in teaming up with the Government in the work.

The cable is expected to improve and reduce the cost of ICT services in the country.

"It was my desire from the beginning that all stakeholders should cooperate in this project so as to reduce costs because the cable will be used by all of us," said President Kikwete.

The work of laying the cable is estimated to cost $ 170 million (Sh222.7 billion). The Government has decided to secure a loan from China. President Kikwete said the Government should fully participate in the construction of the network as its desire was to see that it was used for development, and not for making profits only.

The Citizen