ICT as the solution of the problems facing Tanzania……

SUBSTANTIAL investment in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in developing countries is cited as key instrument that can lead to real development and improve people's living conditions.

ICT has huge potential in providing quality services in education, health, commerce and public administration. Statistics show that in tanzania the sector is growing at between 15 and 20 per cent annually which is the highest in the East African Community (EAC) region. It is argued that ICT is vital in protecting the interest of various stakeholders such as consumers, service providers and the government, who have now embraced e-learning, tele-medicine and ecommerce.

However, dangers posed by the digital divide and the risk of being excluded from the knowledge economy and social development caused by development disparities between rural and urban areas need swift measures to ensure that the benefits brought by ICT benefits all.

One of the measures according to the Deputy Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Mr Philip Mulugo, is increased investment in ICT, which is necessary for transformation of the country into knowledge society. The substantial investments in the ICT, he said, were crucial not only for enhancing healthy competition geared at promoting quality of education but more importantly to bring the nation to the middle income status by 2025.

He said ICT has impacted the way business is conducted, facilitated learning and knowledge sharing, generated fast global information flows, empowered citizens and communities in ways that have redefined governance and created significant wealth and economic growth.

"As we are continually inviting investors in the ICT because of its vital role to the economy, the government is pledging to further improve investment climate by removing all red tapes," he said at the 19th graduation ceremony of the Learnit Institute of Business and Technology, where 220 students graduated with degrees, advanced diplomas and diplomas. The deputy minister underscored the need to transform the Tanzanian economy into one with higher income and quality growth over the next decade with knowledge and innovation.

The government is calling upon the private sector to augment investments in ICT while deploring bogus investors who violate procedures for establishing learning institutions. Mr Mulugo, however, warned bogus investors who violate procedures set up by the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) that the government will take stern measures to ensure quality. He said ICT is one of the sectors which offer huge potential for creating massive employment, a necessary element in the government efforts to alleviate abject poverty in the country.

"You need to train your students to be creative and embark on self-employment which could ultimately result into more jobs absorb more unemployed people," he said. The Learnit Institute Business and Technology Director Ms Sharmila Bhatt said the institute has so far produced more than 3,000 graduands employed in both public and private sector of the economy.

"With the growing demand of trained professionals in Business and ICT, Learnit directs all its efforts in improving the quality of learning environment and delivery of all the courses to meet standards set by the National Computing Centre (NCC) Education Ltd, a global provider and awarding body in the UK," she said. Learnit started its operations in Tanzania in 1993 under the umbrella of Soft-Tech Consultants Ltd as pioneers in the field of ICT and its mission today is to empower Africa through ICT.

"We at the time, believed that an investment in education in the field of ICT will assist in building the required manpower for the country which in turn can be an enabling environment for rapid development," she added. The NCC Representative Ms Bev O'Donovan urged the graduates to use the skills obtained to become better individuals.

Daily News Tanzania


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