The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) plans to establish an information and communication technology (ICT) village to ensure it contributes greatly to the country’s economy.
Speaking during a briefing to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Infrastructure in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Costech Director General Hassan Mshinda said they would use available opportunities in the country such as the national optic fibre and submarine cable, which connected different parts in and outside the country.
Mshinda noted that to date the demand for a data centre was high compared to the supply thus the optic fibre and submarine cable was a significant step in ICT development. He said Costech had already carried out a feasibility study and plans to secure a plot for an ICT village probably in Kigamboni area, Dar es Salaam, were underway.
“Through the project, internet services will be improved and there will be data centres to keep computer systems and statistics. The ICT village will also have business and banking services, among other things,” Dr Mshinda said.
He said high connectivity would attract foreign companies to come and invest in the country.
Dr Mshinda noted that apart from contributing to the national economy, the ICT village would also provide employment opportunities, broaden skills and knowledge of local experts and enhance cooperation between international and local companies.
He, however, said Costech had been implementing directives from the parliamentary committee that research funds must be disbursed in compliance with the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Protocol and in the last financial year the government set aside 30bn/- but Costech had so far received 19bn/- only.
Dr Mshinda said his commission had been also insisting on the use of research findings whereby Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (Tacri) had distributed improved seeds to farmers.
For his part, Parliamentary Committee Chairman Peter Serukamba said there was no nation in the world, which had attained development without investing in research.
He said through research unemployment could be addressed.
Serukamba also said if the ICT village was established it would help provide employment to people and boost the country’s economy.