ICT4D: Facing the Challenges Head-on in Tanzania
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This report presents a situational analysis of ICT4D in Tanzania and aims to establish key priority areas for ICT4D in Tanzania, identify various issues determining the success or failure of ICT4D in Tanzania, and recommend possible measures to be taken to facilitate the progress of ICT4D for the next ten years.
With respect to the above objectives, an inductive-interpretive approach was adopted to inform the study. Information was purposefully gathered from a broad range of informants from government, the private sector, NGOs and international organisations. Qualitative analysis was used to identify the issues and priorities, and to build the concepts and recommendations.
The analysis shows that, at a high level, the Government of Tanzania has established key priority areas, some of which coincide with priority areas identified by citizens. The government priority areas are defined in strategies such as the Tanzania Vision 2025, the National Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the National ICT Policy, and the Universal Communication Services Access Fund. However, a composite of the two perspectives reflects the shared view that it is of paramount importance to streamline ICT into the areas of production and service provision, government, health, education, business, and the growth of SMEs.
Three categories of success factors have contributed to facilitating ICT4D in Tanzania, namely the affordability, availability, and adoption of ICTs; supportive social infrastructure (levels of literacy and Kiswahili as the national language); and presence of government will. At the same time, four categories of issues were identified to challenge the successful uptake of ICT4D in Tanzania, namely an unsupportive ICT connectivity and supporting infrastructure; inadequate quality of ICT content; unsupportive organisational issues and peeople-related challenges.
Various areas were identified as requiring further studies. These include development and applicability of policy to facilitate the documentation and archiving of information concerning ICT and related projects. Others are identification of possible services to be delivered through mobile phones. The transferability of successful ICT implementation modes from one local community to another also needs further investigation.
The report was compiled by Jim Yonazi of the The Institute of Finance Management in Dar es Salaam.