Avanti signs $4m pact for Tanzania schools connectivity


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – UK-based Avanti Communications Group Plc signed an agreement valued at $4.5 million (Tsh.8 billion) to connect 250 public schools with internet.

The deal falls under the Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) and covers the establishment of 25 Information Communication Technology (ICT) academic centres in various areas around the country.

This is expected to bolster education as well as health services in a total of 150 hospitals in Tanzania.

Signing the contract in Dar es Salaam, Universal Communications Services Access Fund (UCSAF) Chief Executive Officer Eng. Peter Ulanga said in the first phase, the project will focus on connecting the schools and the hospitals will be connected in the second phase.

The fund had been involved in long negotiations with the British firm aimed at streamlining of public schools and the internet in a project known as School Connectivity, he said.

Eventually, he added, the pact was reached whereby a total of 250 public schools have been included in the project and 25 ICT training centres, all to be established for the purpose of training school teachers.

Avanti is a company which deals in selling satellite data communication services to telecoms companies, he said.

Implementation of the project is expected to come to completion within a year from now, Ulanga said.

“We are expecting to connect 150 district hospitals with internet services that would ease provision of telemedicine services. We have also formed a committee to ensure that every district hospitals is connected with the services too,” he said.

He said in terms of Internet, the initiative will sponsor 1,000 lap tops that would be provided to assistant lecturers so that they would be able to be computer literate. So far they have connected six hospitals with telemedicine services namely Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), Bagamoyo district hospital (45 km north of Dar es Salaam city), Amana hospital within Dar es Salaam City, Tumbi hospital (50 km west of Dar es Salaam city and Temeke district hospital within Dar es Salaam.
Source: East African Business Week 26 April 2015