-and community digitization.
Other targets include ensuring high quality livelihoods, well-educated learning society, competitive economy for sustainable growth and shared benefits, peace, unity and stability as well as good governance.
Both the government and private sector need to work together to bring these resources to bear in order to best meet the set development goals.
One such resource is technology and digital connectivity. As the leading player in the provision of technology and telecommunications services, Vodacom Tanzania is making impactful contributions towards achieving the goals.
The company is the current leader in the telecommunication market with over 15 million customers.
Living up to its purpose as defined by its social contract, Vodacom has set itself a target of bringing broadband internet connectivity to 65 per cent of the population by the end of 2021 and a final target of 90 per cent by 2024, which is 10 per cent higher than the government’s own target.
Currently, broadband connectivity provided by Vodacom covers approximately 52 percent of the population in 1,184 villages upcountry.
In collaboration with Universal Service Access Fund (UCSFAF), Vodacom has extended its mobile network coverage in rural areas to cover 92 per cent of the Tanzanian population thereby having the widest network with the best voice and data services as well as financial and social service products.
Internet access is a powerful enabler of economic participation and financial inclusion. Vodacom understands that technology for its own sake is of no use, thus investing in the very latest technology for its network, to deliver innovative and relevant products and services that address its users’ needs.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vodacom provided an indispensable facility to allow innovators to ensure people’s social and economic lives continue with minimal interruption.
A large number of businesses went online, finding that the internet is a convenient forum, and for some it even gave them the opportunity to grow.During this time, many people pivoted to working from home in order to mitigate the spread of COVID.
Noel Mazoya, M-Pesa Marketing Manager said: “My experience working from home is better than I had expected. Aside from increased productivity, I have more time for my family, especially my new-born daughter. Vodacom’s superior 4G network is what has made this possible.”
Tan Trade Authority Executive Director Jacqueline Maleko who is the user of Vodacom’s superfast network said: “As a founding member of the Tanzania Women’s’ Chamber of Commerce, I work to empower women in order to grow their businesses. Women are the pillars of families and this is their time to shine. Vodacom’s network has been immensely helpful in connecting me with my clients and keeping me informed.”
The Vodacom network is being used as a channel for economic empowerment for marginalized groups in the country by various NGO’s.
It has simplified the creation of women’s groups and made the running of such groups much more practical. The groups are in turn used to deliver critically needed skills and training. V
The company runs financial management skills training for women farmers in rural areas with great success, with these groups recording significant savings and growth of their businesses. More than 2,500 women have received this training countrywide.
Vodacom Tanzania is also facilitating delivery of educational content to over 60,000 students, connecting 10,000 farmers to vital agricultural information and services and delivering life-saving information to a base of 2.6 million users on topics relevant to ante-natal health.
Vodacom network is also a significant source of revenue for the government, having paid 1.9trn/- in taxes in the period between 2015 and 2020, making it the highest contributor to government tax collections in the telecommunications sector.
Vodacom Tanzania was recently awarded the recognition of ‘Best Mobile Network Operator’ by the ICT Commission in their annual conference held in Arusha.
Further acknowledgement came from the Foundation for Civil Society during civil society week whereas they awarded the mobile phone company recognition for ‘outstanding private sector contribution in social development’.