Tanzania Agenda for Digital Economy-Impact on the Gaming Industry

The Tanzania Ministry for information and Communication Technology, as lay, is focused on transforming Tanzania into a digital economy for the upcoming fiscal year budget; achieving this goal, the agency is outlining key digital infrastructural projects for 2021/22.

According to the Tanzania Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Dr. Faustine Ndugulile has disclosed that his ministry has presented at least 25bn shillings earmarked to achieve a digital economy goal for 2021/2022. During the budget presentation to the parliament, the agency is also strategizing on ways to generate revenue through Teletraffic Management System (TTMS) administered by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) from mobile companies’ operator. In essence, the digital economy mantra by the authorities is to provide an enabling business environment and measures to ensure every citizen is involved in the digital agenda and building up the goal.

However, it is a significant development for different sectors of the economy and businesses as the government want to embrace technology in full-scale, especially in an essential component of its economy. The digital economy mantra will significantly impact e-commerce, SME, and the gaming industry and aid business in generating substantial revenue and help the government accurate income generation for its entire agency.

In contrast, some of the critical projects that the government has earmarked are to increase geographical network coverage in the country, which currently stood at 66 per cent. And there are looking forward to reaching more densely populated areas, mainly rural areas, through the partnership with Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF). At the same time, the authorities are working towards a partnership to establish a smartphone assembly factory in Tanzania and the ongoing fibre optic project in the country targeted to reach 80 per cent of the population. This initiative is, of course, geared towards an enabling environment to provide smartphones available at an affordable price which is essential for businesses that rely on the internet. In recent years, mobile money is the norm for bettors in the country to deposit and receive money. However, the increase in mobile money transactions has been necessitated by the rise of mobile phone subscribers. It has been the bedrock of the exponential growth of the Tanzania gaming industry.

In contrast, in 2020, TCRA registered 48,939,530 SIM cards, making the registered number 53,063,085 as of April this year. Further, the upcoming project by the authorities to create a space for smartphone assembly in the country to make it available at an affordable price will assist in providing widespread use of smartphone devices. This will, of course, accelerate mobile online gambling and betting in Tanzania.

The digital economy has been the main agenda in Tanzania for some time now as the country goal recalibrating by embracing the global agenda of the Fourth Industrial Revolution based on technology adoption. However, the government has shown its commitment to continue with the plan yearly and provide space to network and innovate with policymakers, funders, researchers, and other players in the innovation ecosystem. And to share what they have been working on, learn from and inspire each other, and collaborate across sectors and transform Tanzania through the scaling innovation by making digital Tanzania a reality and creating employment opportunities through innovations.

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