Mr. Chairman, Honourable Ministers,
Dr. Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of the ITU,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and my delegation allow me to first extend our appreciation to the Government of South Korea for hosting this conference and for the hospitality extended to us in this beautiful city of Busan since our arrival. I would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to you, Mr. Chairman on your election to chair this, 19th Plenipotentiary conference of the ITU. Also allow me and my delegation to join the voices of those who have already expressed gratitude to Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Toure and staff of the ITU for successfully organizing this conference and for the work they have done in the past four years in spearheading implementation of Union resolutions towards meeting its objectives.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Tanzania has been active in various ITU initiatives which emanated from resolutions agreed by member states. To facilitate this, Tanzania has adopted pro-ICT policies and supportive legislation in order to build an ICT-driven nation comprising of knowledge based society. Successes that Tanzania has attained over the past ten years of the 2003 National ICT policy, have led to an unprecedented increase of ICT applications in various sectors of the economy. Examples are the ICT enabled financial inclusion which has linked the ever unbanked population of Tanzania especially the rural community with banking services.
Tanzania has also successfully implemented the 2006 Geneva Agreement (GE-06) on migration from terrestrial analogue to digital television broadcasting. These successes are attributed by, among other things, a converged regulatory environment to regulate the communications sector which includes telecommunications, broadcasting and postal. Since the introduction of a converged Licensing Framework in 2005 to leverage ICT in our effort to uplift the social and economic well-being of our people, we have seen some moderate success. These moves are intended to serve as the catalyst for stimulating the growth not only in the ICT industry, but the overall economy.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen;
Tanzania would be most happy to share her experiences with our fellow ITU members. We are also proud to say that our ICT policy, legal framework, converged licensing framework and strategies to guide the sector have paid great dividends. Today our teledensity stands at 64 percent, the number of subscription for mobile users has increased to over 28.3 million in 2014 from 21.2 million in 2010. Today, the number of Internet users has increased to over 9.6 million from 5.1 million in 2010. Thanks to the public-private partnership strategies.
Tanzania has become among the first countries in the African Region to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting. The migration process is being done in phases depending on the digital coverage. The Analogue Switch-Off (ASO), which was done in areas that had terrestrial digital broadcasting coverage, started in Dar es Salaam on 31 December 2012 followed by other regions from January 31, 2013. Up to July 2014, 80% of the analogue Television transmission sites were switched off. Construction of digital transmission sites in the remaining regions is being finalized and we expect to switch off the remaining sites before the set deadline.
National and regional connectivity initiatives are other commitments that Tanzania has been paying a great attention on. The government has invested thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cables that contribute to the National ICT Broadband Backbone Network (NICTBB). The NICTBB connects all national administrative regions and construction is underway to enhancing the NICTBB to have a footprint and service point at each district headquarters; establishing a full-mesh IP layer (IP-MPLS) and implementation of three National Data Centres for hosting IT services. The NICTBB network also connects the land-locked countries through multiple connections to the border points of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Zambia, and Malawi. The national ICT broadband Backbone with a length of 7,560 KM and converged regulatory environment established in Tanzania has since been attracting foreign investment into the country.
Tanzania has established a Universal Communications Access Fund (UCAF) since 2007. To date the Fund has managed to connect 316 villages with population of 730,000. Extension of telecommunication coverage to 1,268 rural villages with total population of 1,949,200 is under implementation so as to provide rural communities with access to mobile phones and internet by the end of 2014. The Fund has also embarked on other projects including connecting schools, tele-medicine and providing.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and Gentlemen;
In the efforts to address the security of communication networks, information systems and their availability, Tanzania has established its National Computer Security Emergency Response Team (TZ-CERT) to coordinate response to cyber incidents at national level. The TZ-CERT was established in September 2012 and became operational this year with technical assistance of ITU/IMPACT. Implementation of the Domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC) to enhance the DNS security at our country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Registry is another achievement that Tanzania has so far attained. Cooperation with regional and international entities involved with the management of cyber security incidents is among the TZ-CERT functions. Furthermore, Tanzania is finalizing review of its ICT policy, drafting three Cyber Security Bills namely Computer and Cybercrime Prevention, Personal Data Protection and Electronic Transactions in attempt to address the cyber security concerns and is expected to become laws in the next few months. Other initiatives include development of broadband strategy and formulation of e-government policy.
This conference is very important for laying down a clear road map for the next four years on programmes and activities related to telecommunication development. It is our great expectation that as a team we will further develop the telecommunications sector in our regions and the whole world. Therefore, there are three issues that Tanzania would like to be addressed in this conference and hope to get commitment from us all. These are support to human and institutional capacity building; collaboration in cybercrime and cyber war; harmonization of policies and regulatory frameworks and development of fibre for achieving regional interconnectivity and universal access.
Mr. Chairman, fellow participants
Tanzania has been a Member of the ITU since it attained its independence in 1961. It became a Council Member up to 2010 and has, today, immensely contributed to activities of the Union. We have hosted several ITU workshops and meetings that provided platforms for ITU members to learn and share experiences from each other. Tanzania has regularly and actively hosted and participated in various events such as:
Hosting a Digital Migration Meeting for African countries;
Hosting a National Training Workshop on the use of Information and Communication Technologies in Disaster Management;
Hosting a workshop on Implementing Child Help Line;
Participating in all ITU Sectors Study Groups (Vice Chairman in ITU-T SG2 and ITU SG 3, ITU-D Rapporteur, TDAG Vice Chair up to 2013);
Participated in ITU Telecom World Events since 2010;
Participated in WTSA, WTDC, WRC, Plenipotentiaries, ICANN, ITSO, etc;
Tanzanian is a Vice Chair of ITSO Assembly of Parties;
Founder Member of ATU, PAPU, CRASA in SADC and EACO in EAC.
As we gather at the ITU PP 2014, we believe that Tanzania’s experience in the communications sector can best fit and be shared with the ITU family as a member of the ITU Council especially at this juncture when the sector is changing very fast and the international community is more than ever ready and utilizing the information and communications technologies products and services as tools for social and economic development. Tanzania is committed to and will contribute towards development of ICT policy, regulatory capacity, national and regional connectivity, collaboration on cybercrimes, broadband universal access and services with the aim of bridging the digital divide.
Finally, I wish to reiterate that Tanzania is committed to co-operate and share with other Member States, the ITU Secretariat and the regional offices to make ITU an eminent international body that plays an important role in enhancing socio-economic development of all member countries; as such Tanzania has put its candidature to the seat of the ITU Council representing Region D. We are requesting all ITU members to vote for Tanzania to the ITU Council, so that we can share our experiences with the ITU family and further contribute to ITU Vision and Mission.
Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Government of Tanzania, and my delegation, I would like to once again express my profound gratitude to the Government of South Korea for hosting this remarkable conference, and wish success in its deliberations.
Thank you for your attention.