Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam Hilda Mhagama
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Faustine Kamuzora, said yesterday that while jobs are being lost due to automation. Tanzanians should stop worrying about the new development as several new jobs are also being created through technological advances.

“Technology and innovations have increased prosperity in several developing countries employing hundreds of thousands of people. There is no need to resist these advances as we know for sure more opportunities are being created,”he said. He made the remarks in Dar es Salaam when opening a digital Tanzania workshop organised by the World Bank group to discuss RCIP project achievements.

He said smart technologies will create new opportunities for prosperity rather than being wary of automation or waiting for chance, adding people should make strategic choices today. He as a technology optimist he would say technology provides the country with new possibilities to shape and transform societies in profound ways.

RCIP Tanzania Communications Infrastructure and e- Government Project is a World Bank-funded project whose objectives are to support the government’s efforts to lower prices for international capacity and extend the geographic reach of broadband networks.

Another objective is to improve the government’s efficiency, transparency and quality of service delivery to the public through e-Government applications. “Our government is implementing several initiatives to bridge the digital divide that include the RCIP project which commenced in 2010; it has catalyzed private sector investment to improve the connectivity within and outside Tanzania,” noted Prof Kamuzora.

According to Prof Kamuzora, several achievements have been realised on the course of implementing the project–including extension of the communication services in rural areas, improving government efficiency as well as lowering the cost of internet connectivity. He said though the project has done quite a fair job many people in the country are still left out in which some areas in the country has no connectivity at all.

World Bank, Practice Manager for Information and Communication Technologies, Ms Boutheina Guermazi, said it was a privilege and opportunity for them to work closely with the government to support the transformation process.

“The project has supported expansion of internet connectivity within the country,” she said. She said with all the achievements regarding connectivity, it was high time to focus on ways to capitalise the connectivity and make a difference in the lives of Tanzanians.

World Bank, Lead ICT Policy Specialist, Mr Time Kelly, said digital development was no longer luxury for Africa as it was essential for growth, job creation and access to information.

He further said it was crucial for Tanzania to feel the connectivity gaps especially in rural areas and see how to accelerate the digital economy, many people focus on connectivity but it is time to start paying attention on its benefits. “Despite progress in Africa if you are poor, old, living in the rural area still you cannot fully harness the power of digital technology for transformation,” he noted.

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