(Ecofin Agency) - The World Bank announced on Thursday, May 27, that it has granted Tanzania $150 million as part of the Digital Tanzania Project (DTP), one of three national projects for which the international financial institution has released a total of $850 million. The money received for the DTP will be used to increase access to quality broadband Internet services for government, businesses, and citizens, and to improve the government's capacity to deliver digital public services.
According to the World Bank, three components will need to be in place for the project to succeed. These include strengthening the digital ecosystem through laws, policies, and regulations that promote investment in ICT infrastructure, market competitiveness, digital engagement, job creation, and innovation. The second is ensuring access to affordable, high-quality Internet services for all, including in rural areas, and lastly, developing public digital platforms and services so that the government can provide services to citizens and conduct its own business digitally.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to accelerate digital migration. In the 2020 edition of Portulans Institute's Network Readiness Index, which assesses the digital readiness of countries around the world, the country ranks 110th out of 134. The government is more committed than ever to transform the nation from a low-productivity agricultural economy to a knowledge-based, semi-industrialized middle-income economy, in line with the 2025 national development vision.
Upon completion of the DTP, the World Bank expects to see several notable changes, including more than 75% of the Tanzanian population having access to a mobile broadband network signal, some 425 ministries, departments, and agencies getting connected to broadband, and the number of monthly online connections for public service increasing from 200,000 to at least 500,000.