As every facet of the economy moves towards digital platforms, Tanzania is now looking to establish an Information Technology professionals board.
The board will register all IT professionals in the country for the purpose of monitoring, controlling and securing the country’s cyber space while speeding up the uptake of technology.
This is in keeping with the National ICT Policy 2016 developed to support the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, which recognises that ICT is central to a competitive economic transformation.
An ICT Commission that was established in 2016 was given powers by the government to develop a pool of ICT professionals through targeted programmes.
The Minister for Works, Transport Communications, Isack Kamwelwe, said recently that although the government is still in the process of formulating legislation to regulate the work of IT professionals, the objective of the ICT professionals board is to undertake matters such as registration, licensing and monitoring.
Areas of focus
Other areas of focus for the board include data access rights, privacy protection, computer fraud and crime, security and privacy of e-transactions, establishment of rules governing e-transactions, and delivery of e-opportunities to the wider population.
Mr Kamwelwe said: “The professionals will be required to come up with innovations, otherwise they will lose their licences.”
He noted that the country is adopting technology fast, going by the number of mobile phone users.
Tanzania has 44 million mobile phone users out of a population of 55 million, with about 23 million having access to internet services.
The level of penetration, Mr Kamwelwe said, makes IT professionals key players in everyday lives.
According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority there has been an rise in the uptake of mobile money services.
This has increased the number of people saving money, and made the payment of utility bills easier through mobile platforms, even as more banks adopt online banking.
Deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Communications Jim Yonazi, reiterated that registration of IT experts will move Tanzania in the right direction of technology, make the sector more vibrant and will have a positive impact.
In a slate of government reforms, President John Magufuli had directed all public departments to adopt technology under the government communication network (GovNet).
Currently, about 72 public institutions are connected to GovNet, meaning their operations are online. It is considered as one way of reducing public expenditure.