Mr. Chairman,
Honourable Ministers,
Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the ITU
Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
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 the United Arabs Emirates for hosting this conference and for the hospitality extended to us since our arrival in Dubai. I would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to you, Mr. Chairman on your election to chair this 20th International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiaries Conference. Also, allow me and my delegation to express gratitude to Secretary General, Mr. Houlin Zhao 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 ITU resolutions towards meeting its objectives, including the Connect 2020 Agenda for global telecommunication / information and communication technology development.

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen;

The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania recognizes the important role of ICT for rapid socio-economic growth in its aspiration to become a middle income economy by 2025 and attaining the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Tanzania has adopted pro-ICT policies and supportive legal frameworks in order to build an ICT-driven nation comprising of knowledge based society.

I would like to take this opportunity to update the membership of what has transpired in the United Republic of Tanzania between the last ITU  PP-14 and this PP-18. Following General elections held in 2015, the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications is now responsible for formulation of policies and has in 2016 put in place a new ICT Policy following revision of the National ICT Policy of 2003. The National ICT Policy of 2016 aims at economically, socially and culturally enriching the people through an ICT enabled knowledge society. The Policy provides a comprehensive framework for guiding the development and growth of the sector to ensure optimal benefits to the nation and its citizens.

The growth is evidenced by remarkable developments in terms of the number of licensees; types of technologies used, number of services provided to consumers, number of consumers and providers of regulated services in fixed and mobile telephony, internet services as well as television and radio broadcasting.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen;

To promote growth in ICT, Tanzania adopted a technology neutral license framework and invested in construction of broadband infrastructures that connects all administrative regions in the country, link to neighbouring countries as well as to the undersea cables of Seacom and Eassy landing on the shores. National and regional connectivity initiatives are among commitments that Tanzania has been paying a great attention on. The Country also invested in TIER 3 data centres. Tanzanians are already enjoying the benefits of these technological developments and also prices have dropped significantly.

Furthermore, the Universal Communications Service Access Fund which was established through the Act No. 11 of 2006 and has proven to be an important tool in bridging the digital gap between rural and urban areas. The Fund has managed to facilitate extension of telecommunication services to making mobile population coverage in the country reach 94 per cent with mobile subscriptions being 41,833,834 by June  2018, and  internet penetration of 45 percent in the population of 55 milion people. We are working hard to make sure the few remaining unconnected areas will be connected before end of 2020 to and allow all people in the country participate fully in the digital economy.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and Gentlemen;

Deployment of state of the art infrastructure together with supportive policy and legal frameworks have opened room for leveraging of ICTs in various areas including governance, finance, health, education, commerce and others. Today, ICT is an integral part of Tanzanians’ daily lives and people are ready to adopt and embrace new, upcoming technologies. The government is encouraging innovations, to enable our people to participate in developing technologies. The National Fund for Advancement of Science and Technology provides grants for researches including in ICT in order to capitalize on this fact to ensure that our people greatly benefit from developing the innovations. From such innovations, we have been able to develop and deploy government payment switch to facilitate government revenue collection through ICT infrastructure. Also, to facilitate e-commerce, development of one stop centres and implementation of National Addressing and Postcode System are ongoing.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen;

Tanzania became among the first countries in the African Region to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting in June 2015. Tanzania in June 2018 has also successfully auctioned valuable spectrum in the 700 MHz band, which was released after the migration, to advance the country’s mobile broadband infrastructure to serve as the catalyst for stimulating  economic growth and join the rest of the world in the fourth industrial revolution taking place now.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and Gentlemen;

Accompanying the deployment and utilization of ICTs within the economy and society we have experienced some challenges in the areas concering e-Waste, e-security and cyber safety. These challenges are worldwide and Tanzania is not exceptional. Provision of a safe environment for digital participation is crucial in facilitating effective use of ICT for sustainable development. Efforts that Tanzania has taken to provide a safe environment for digital participation include: the establishment of the Computer Emergency Response Team (TZ-CERT) and the Cybercrime Unit under the Tanzania Police Force. TZ-CERT is a key advisory tool providing alerts on possible cyber-attacks at national and international levels as well as giving relevant mitigation strategies. Cooperation with regional and international entities involved with the management of cyber security incidents is among the functions of TZ-CERT.

Furthermore, Legal frameworks have also been put in place; including introducing the Cybercrime Act No. 14 of 2015 and the Electronic Transaction Act No. 13 of 2015. We are now in the process of enacting the Personal Data Protection Act; in line with Regional and International cyber laws frameworks. In addition, Tanzania has implemented Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) to enhance security at the dot tz (.tz) country code Top Level Domain; and has deployed Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to enhance security of electronic transactions. Tanzania has also implemented Central Equipment Identification Register (CEIR) for mobile phones and banned usage of counterfeit mobile phones since June, 2016 for both security and safety concerns.

In line with these efforts and commitments, we would be most happy to share experiences with our fellow ITU members in this regard.

It is my great expectation that as a team the experiences we share will help in implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ITU’s Connect 2020 Agenda for Global Telecommunication /ICT Development and our National and sector specific policies in our countries.

Mr. Chairman, fellow participants

Finally, I wish to reiterate that United Republic of Tanzania is committed to co-operate and share with other Member States and the ITU Secretariat to make ITU an eminent body that plays an important role in enhancing socio-economic development in Africa.

Mr. Chairman, before I conclude, we wish to inform ITU Member States that the United Republic of Tanzania, as an active member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has presented its candidature for the re-election to the membership of the ITU Council for the term 2018–2022 for the African Region.

The Government of Tanzania therefore requests for the support of all members during the election. Tanzania remains committed to continue collaborating with other countries for greater development of ICT in the entire world through the Council. We are confident that upon our re-election as a Council member, we will significantly contribute to the development of ITU and contribute to the realisation of a harmonised global ICT.

Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and my delegation, We wish you and ITU’s member states successful deliberations in this remarkable and important conference.

Thank you for your attention.