The government of Tanzania has launched a call into seeking investors to establish mobile phone assembly lines in Tanzania in a bid to harness the potential available in the huge market of those not served, with a goal to reach 80 percent of internet users by 2025.

The Director-General of The Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Mr. Amos Nungu, noted that the availability of affordable smartphones would revolutionize internet use within the country and help spur economic growth. He revealed this during a media symposium ahead of the Innovation Week that holding across the country with the theme: “Innovation for a Resilience and Inclusive Digital Economy”.

Statistics reveal that the country has 43.7 million mobile phone subscribers in total but only 23.1 million of them get internet access with up to 86 per cent locked out in rural areas when compared to 44.6 per cent in urban areas.

Tanzania’s Innovation Week is executed by the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and COSTECH, with support from UKAid and other partners and sponsors, with the purpose of inspiring current and future leaders in the country to take on risks and management of new ideas while collaborating across sectors to transform the nation through the impact of innovation.

The Director-General in his address also noted that the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) was working closely with stakeholders to ensure that internet access is granted to the majority of Tanzanians. “The government wants an inclusive digital economy that will ensure all people from all walks of life including the marginalised have access to the internet,” he said.