By Mark Kawalya
In a $28.8 million agreement, Tanzania and Uganda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combine their national information and communication technology (ICT) networks. Through cooperation between Tanzania’s TTCL Corporation and Uganda’s National IT Authority (NITA-U), the 15-year agreement would link Tanzania’s National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) with Uganda’s National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI). Nape Nnauye, the ICT minister for Tanzania, and Chris Baryomunsi, the ICT minister for Uganda, both attended the signing.
Nnauye emphasized that the agreement would expand the nations’ use of ICT and trade, fulfilling a promise made during recent presidential visits. He instructed TTCL to uphold the terms of the contract and provide quality services while ensuring a positive user experience.
Tanzania has now established connections with a number of East African countries, and work is still being done to reach countries like Mozambique. According to Baryomunsi, the agreement could cut corporate expenses in Uganda by 50% and generate new employment prospects. He mentioned advantages outside of immediate East Africa because the integrated network offers possible connectivity with South Sudan and the DRC.
The commitment of the organization to professionally manage the vital infrastructure for both countries was underlined by TTCL Director General Peter Ulanga. Through connections to underwater cables, the backbone expands Uganda’s capabilities on the world stage. Ulanga extended an invitation to Uganda to use the National Internet Data Centre of TTCL, which provides superior security and storage. Growing regional cooperation between the neighboring nations is reflected in ICT integration. It builds on shared connectivity goals identified during recent presidential summits.
Officials emphasized that the unified networks can advance broader economic and social development goals in addition to providing commercial rewards. Given TTCL’s background managing NICTBB in East Africa, smooth rollouts will depend on its care of the new integrated infrastructure.
Tanzania and Uganda have made tremendous progress toward their common goal of deeper regional integration by bridging ICT divides between their countries. Their historic ICT relationship serves as a role model for teamwork on initiatives that benefit both people and economies.