|TCRA Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Innocent Mungy.|
The three day fourth Annual Mobile360 Africa conference which ends today, seeks to discuss barriers and find solutions that will enable the underserved population access to the services.
Mr Mungy said through mobile money services provided by all telecommunication companies in the country, has been instrumental in bringing financial services closer to the public, especially those living in rural areas and do not have access to banking services.
“A greater number of people are benefitting from the mobile money services, including in purchasing, accessing money in their bank accounts and sending money to loved ones from the comforts of their homes,” he explained.
He said using mobile money services also reduces theft, saves time from having to visit and access one bank physically as well as carrying a lot of paper money. The TCRA head of Corporate Communications said the country is also making positive strides in incorporating Information Communication Technology (ICT) to providing various services such as e-education, e-health, egovernment and e-commerce.
Citing an example he said in the health sector patients can now receive important information including when to attend clinic, reminders to take medicines or the type of medicine to take through their mobile phones without having to physically visit the doctor.
He added that the mobile phone is also used by patients to store important information, “for instance patients with high blood pressure can send their readings to their doctor who can then advice on what medicine to take.”
Due to the major strides the country is making in ICT, Mr Mungy said Tanzania is now leading in the East Africa region and the world for having the cheapest internet costs. He said whereas in Tanzania one can buy GB 40 at 50,000/- in the United Kingdom GB 3 is nearly US 1000 dollars, noting that even in Nairobi, Kenya it is expensive.
“These achievement that Tanzania has recorded is also another reason this meeting is taking place here because as much as we want to learn from them, they also want to learn from us, to understand how we got where we are.”
On his part, Tigo Tanzania General Manager Mr Diego Gutierrez the telecommunication company has been working round the clock to find different ways to bring services closer to all Tanzanian, especially in rural areas.
Mr Gutierrez who said Tigo Tanzania has different plans rolling which makes it easier for consumer access the company’s services as well as use the service to bring positive change in their lives.
The plans according to Mr Gutierrez includes bringing low cost smart phones to rural people who cannot afford to buy one at current costs. Meanwhile Ericsson is looking to partner with governments to use ICT to bring positive industrial transformation including increase effectiveness and efficiency.
Speaking to Daily News yesterday Head of Government and Industry Relations, Mr Shiletsi Makhofane said ICT is one industry that will be a game changer in all industries.
“Today majority of the focus has always been on one to one connect...however the world is moving fast, past that... we are going further and looking at what can we with this ICT in making other industries more efficient,” he explained.
Areas being targeted by Ericson for transformation using ICT include transport, public safety and security, financial inclusion and energy sectors.
The fourth Annual Mobile360 Africa conference brings together more than 500 telecommunication companies and stakeholders from around the world.