Money Matters Can Be Handled by Mobile Firms in Tanzania

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Four mobile phone companies, Tigo, Vodacom, Airtel and Zantel, have been licensed to carry out financial transaction business, apart from other services they offer such as airtime sales and Internet.

This was said in the National Assembly by the Deputy Minister for Communications, Science and Technology, Mr January Yusuf Makamba, when responding to a question from Ms Amina Abdulla Amour (Special Seats - CUF).

Ms Amour was keen to know why some cell phone companies, which have been licensed to offer communication and Internet services by Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) were also doing business similar to that operated by financial banks.

She wanted to know if the companies (Tigo, Vodacom, Airtel and Zantel) were carrying out financial transaction business legally.

Makamba told the House that communication technology the world over has eased financial transaction activities as well. In a supplementary question, the questioner pointed out that thefts perpetrated through communication facilities such as mobile phones were becoming rampant.

The deputy minister said that this was an unfortunate occurrence that would be curtailed. He told the House that TCRA and Bank of Tanzania have agreed to conduct surveillance through the Bank of Tanzania Act. He informed the House that financial transactions worth 6.6bn/- were carried out through mobile phones last year.

In another development, the National Assembly heard that a total of 2,175 villages in the country have erratic or no mobile phone communication at all. This was said by Mr Makamba when responding to a question from Ahmed Ally Salum (Solwa - CCM).

Mr Salum had wanted to know when a communication tower would be built in Lyabukande Village in his constituency. Mr Makamba said that in November, last year, a tender was floated for construction of communication towers in 140 villages nationwide. The forthcoming project, the deputy minister said, would take in the communication relay station in Lyabukande village.