1) National Communications Infrastructure Backbone Network
The Infrastructure aims at improving connectivity within Tanzania and the EA region. It will contribute to lower prices for accessing efficient, quality and affordable ICT services through improved communications infrastructure services, and make use of affordable capacity and contributing to improved efficiency and transparency of selected government functions through e-government applications. The Backbone network is about 7,000 km terminating to all districts headquarters. The network when completed, will facilitate connectivity to; villages with ICTs and establish community access points; universities, colleges, secondary schools and primary schools with ICTs; scientific and research centres ; public libraries, cultural centres, museums, post offices, archives; health centres, hospitals; as well as local and central government departments. The Backbone will expedite Safety and security services, job creation, creation of an Information based Society, and foster fast response to Disaster incidences. For more information on the National Communication backborn click on â€˜IDEALâ€™ National ICT Backbone Infrastructure and on its implementation click on National ICT Backbone in phases. The National backbone will also provide link to the East and Southern Africa Sub-Marine (Fibre Optic) Cable System (EASSy) project.For more information click on Uhurunet Submarine Cable System to view the geographical architecture
2) Establishment of a New Address System and Postcode
The Address System and Postcode project intends to issue physical addresses and numbers to all streets,citizens and all households in the country by 2011. The objective of the project is to provide reliable, efficient, and affordable postal services to the entire population especially to the people living in rural and other underserved areas. The project is a multistakeholders undertaking which when implemented will facilitates the implementation of other social and economic activities. The information will be on; birth , population growth, identity cards, votersâ€™ registration, business licensing, tax collection, education loan facilities to mention a few. Postal services will be on the basis on door-to-door. The project will also facilitate efficient and effective monitoring, evaluation and controlling of various activities such as illegal migrants, performance of response to disaster and emergency incidents.
3) Establishment of Universal Communications Access Fund (UCAF)
Establishment of Universal Communications Access Fund-UCAF is the requirement stated by the Government through the National Telecommunications Policy (1997), National ICT Policy (2003), and the Declaration of Principles of the World Summit on the Information Society-WSIS) of 2003 (Geneva) and 2005 (Tunisia). The goals and objectives of the Fund is to subsidize investment in rural and underserved urban areas by rolling out connectivity (communications infrastructure and services) in order to harness the bridging of the Digital Divide, promote use of ICT and thus foster social and economic growth. The law to establish UCAF was passed by the parliament in November 2006. Establishment of the Fund will go in tandem with the formation of the Fund Board that will be responsible for the management and operationalization of the UCAF
4) Pan-African e-network (tele-education and tele-medicine) initiatives
This project is being implemented through a grant from the Indian Government. The project aims at connecting all Higher Learning institutions including Universities, and all national referral Hospitals in African countries and those of India in order to expedite Information sharing and exchange in the bid to harness the building of information and knowledge society. Implementation of this project is a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the African Union (AU) and the Government of India for promoting use and application of ICT services â€“ thus bridging the Digital Divide.
5) Establishment of Multipurpose Telecentres in Tanzania
In Tanzania the initiative started way back in 1999 with setting up the African model in Sengerema as one of the 5 pilot telecentres projects in Africa. Tanzania Government through TCRA, COSTECH, and ITU funded these centers. In 2004 three more telecentres were established in Singida, Dodoma, and Mtwara. The then Ministry of Communications and Transport took the lead in the coordination of the establishment of these centers in collaboration with TCRA, Ministry of Gender, Community development and Women, and Local Government Authorities. Several other telecentres are in operational under the management of NGOs, in collaboration with other development partners. These include Ngara UNHCR, Kasulu Teachers Training College, Wino Coffee Farmersâ€™ centers in Mbinga and Arusha Technical College.The long-term plan is to rollout at least one center in every Ward.
6) The Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Biotechnology (NABC)
Tanzania is member to the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) since May 2001 after depositing its Instrument of Accession to the Office of the Secretary General at the United Nations HQ. in New York -USA. The centre is mainly engaged in capacity building of Member States in areas related to the application of Biotechnology in the fields of Agriculture, animal and human health, industrial processing and engineering. These activities are carried by the two components of ICGEB, which are located in Italy and India. During the 12th meeting of ICGEB Board of Governors on Italy from 27 to 28th October 2005, the decision for establishing the Third component in Africa was approved on 15th February, 2006 the United Republic of Tanzania forwarded its intent for considering to host Third component for ICGEB in Africa. Thereafter, the Board of Governors for ICGEB allowed the United Republic of Tanzania to establish the Agricultural Biotechnology Centre at the Sokoine University of Agriculture as an Affliated Centre to the 3rd Component of ICGEB which is hosted by South Africa after winning the bid to host. So far, Programs of study and a Business Plan have been prepared by the Team of Experts from SUA and will be approved by the Academic Committee before being presented to the Management meeting of the Ministry.The Ministry is working on the business plan and the proposed programms with the intention of finally preparing a cabinet paper for further approval..
7) National Science, Technology Innovations Systems Reforms Project
In June 2007, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania requested the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to assist in the preparation and to undertake a National Science, Technology and Innovation Systems review. UNESCO accepted the invitation from the Government of Tanzania to take the lead role in developing a Plan of Action. The intention of UNESCO is to catalyze a multi-donor activity by conducting an international review of Tanzania National Innovation (NIS) systems, using a tested methodology, which has been successfully applied in major countries such as the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China, South Africa and, most recently, in Chile (See http://www.idrc.ca/books/focus/911/index.html). Therefore, the overall objective of this reform process is to achieve competitive and sustainable growth and development through building and fostering local capacities as certain means of improving the conditions of living for the vast majority of the people in the country. The main thrust of the Tanzaniaâ€™s NIS reform project and process is to provide a broad Science, Technology and Innovation framework for future competitive and sustainable growth of countryâ€™s economy and society.
8) National Fund for Advancement of S&T (NFAST)
The National Fund for the Advancement of Science and Technology (NFAST) was launched on July 1st, 1995 following a parliamentary directive as per part five of the COSTECH enabling Act. NFAST was established for the following purpose: funding research activities carried out by individuals or institutions in relation to the development of science and technology; training of researchers; awarding various achievements in S&T, support of technology development and dissemination of the research results. The fund is managed by the National Science and Technology Fund Committee, established and gazetted by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology.
9) Science,Engineering and Technology (SET)
Programs for Women Realizing the low representation of women in science and engineering as a major hindrance to global capacity building in science and technology, in 2002 the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (formally the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education) initiated an award for the best female students performers' in Science subjects namely, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Mathematics examinations for Ordinary and Advanced levels schools. In 2004 the award was extended to public higher learning institutions and latter in 2005 to both public and private higher learning institutions. The main objective of the award is to remedy gender imbalances in scientific careers by supporting women in S&T careers by awarding them grants and fellowships for education and research, as well as explicit recognition for outstanding achievements; Schools and teachers both Ordinary and Advanced Level secondary schools are also awarded for facilitating the performance of the best female science students.
10) Development and Promotion of Science and Technology Education In Tanzania
Increased productivity in various sectors of the economy is dependent on effective application of science and technology, as well as making technological innovations and inventions. However, the pace of Science Education development in Tanzania has been slow apparently because there are weak collaborative efforts in promoting science and technology education between Ministries responsible for education and the private sector. Having realized this, in August 2007 a Task Force drawing members from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) and the former Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MHEST), which is now called Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST), was formed to explore ways of promoting science and technology education in the country. Preliminary findings of the task force suggest that the low interest in Science subjects from primary up to university education include among others the low remuneration of scientists in their carrier paths, besides science subjects being difficult to pursue at school; the overburden science curriculum at O level, especially after making History and Geography compulsory subjects; the costs of educating a scientist at university and higher learning institutions being higher that those from arts based subjects. Besides the task force suggests that a thorough analysis of the situation in promotion of science education need to be done, to be able to advise the government accordingly through a cabinet paper. There recommendations include forming three committees that will thoroughly synthesize science education promotion at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary level.