Tanzania’s Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF) has so far invested approximately TZS74 billion (USD34.9 million) on improving telecoms links in rural areas, effectively enhancing connectivity for 3.1 million residents, local website Daily News reports, citing Professor Makame Mbarawa, the country’s Minister for Communication, Science and Technology.
The figures were given at the contract signing event for Rural Telecommunication Phase 2B, which was attended by UCSAF representatives and local operators Vodacom, Tigo and Tanzania Telecommunication Company Ltd (TTCL). Mbarawa noted that Phase 1A of the programme involved network enhancements in 77 wards (districts) and 441 villages, while Phase 1B covered 86 wards and 511 villages, and Phase 2A involved 102 wards and 480 villages, as well as ten districts in border areas and ‘special zones’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 21 April 2015 Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo and TTCL were approved to provide services to 112 underserved Tanzanian districts, via subsidies totalling USD9.6 million from the UCSAF. Under the contract Vodacom has been assigned 38 wards to cover, Tigo 47, TTCL 19 and Airtel eight.