Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Welcomes India to Invest in ICT


Indian businessmen and women have been asked to seize the abundant opportunities in Tanzania by investing in key areas such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development.

The challenge was thrown here by the Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa, during the plenary session of the India-Africa Business Partnership summit which opened here on Thursday.

He said the government wants investors particularly in developing local multi-media content software that would address issues that are relevant to the national development.

"Instead of relying on software that has been designed for the entire world, we need investors who would develop a customized IT content for our country," he said.

He told the two-day forum that has brought together ministers from different African countries, businessmen and women, diplomats and representatives from multinational companies mainly based in India that Tanzania's fiscal and political stability offer a credible offer for investments.

"With its strategic geographical position, Tanzania places itself as the most ideal place in the entire East and Central African region where investors not only from India but world over could come and explore various untapped business opportunities," he said.

He mentioned other areas which are yet to be tapped fully as IT parks and small ICT villages where the youth could assemble and design software that is ideal for the local markets.

He gave an example of business processing outsourcing (BPO) system which could create more jobs for Tanzanians by creating calling centres in the country.

The minister said Indian investors should also capitalize on the fast growing East African Community (EAC) market, covering over 140 million people.

He said that with the improved communication and infrastructure such as road and railway network, the EAC market offers a quick return on investment (ROI).

"The fibre optic project has made communication easier for Tanzania and the landlocked countries such as Zambia, Malawi, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda," he said.

The first phase of Tanzania's 10,674-kilometre national fibre-optic backbone was completed in May last year, connecting to the SEACOM, and EASSy submarine cables.

It runs from Mombasa (Kenya) through Nairobi (Kenya), Kampala (Uganda), Kigali (Rwanda), and Bujumbura (Burundi) to Dar es Salaam.