By Frank Kamuntu
Uganda’s bilateral relations with Tanzania have been boosted after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his counterpart President Samia Suluhu Hassan officially commissioned the integration of the Ugandan and Tanzanian ICT backbone infrastructure in Isingiro District.
This monumental achievement brings both nations closer together in their pursuit of reliable and high-speed internet connectivity, which plays a pivotal role in driving socio-economic development and fostering innovation.
On March 16th, 2023, HE. Museveni directed the National Information Technology Uganda (NITAU), through its parent Ministry, to establish immediate contact with the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) to access affordable internet services through the Tanzanian National ICT Broadband Backbone.
According to NITA experts, in a remarkable physical bridging of the Uganda and Tanzania National ICT backbones (NICTBB<>NBI), a pair of dedicated Fiber Optic Cables (FOC) were deployed at Mutukula (no man’s land) establishing an alternative route to the undersea cables through Tanzania.
NITA says the integration of the ICT backbone infrastructure between Uganda and Tanzania aims to achieve several key objectives among them including enhancement of Internet Infrastructure which will provide a strong foundation for efficient and reliable Internet connectivity, empowering individuals and organizations to thrive in the digital age.
There will also be promotion of cross-border collaboration since the newly established internet connection enables seamless communication and data exchange between businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies in Uganda and Tanzania.
By fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and joint research initiatives, this enhanced connectivity will lead to unprecedented economic growth and technological advancement for both Uganda and Tanzania.
The infrastructure is also seen as a booster of digital services that will birth a multitude of services such as e-commerce, e-banking, telemedicine, and e-earning will experience remarkable growth which bridges the digital divide and ensures that citizens have access to a wide range of online services, significantly improving their overall quality of life.
Meanwhile, in his speech, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for ICT & NG, expressed his immense pride in the successful commissioning of the integration of the Ugandan and Tanzanian ICT backbone infrastructure.
“This achievement symbolizes the unwavering commitment of both countries to progress, innovation, and inclusive development,” said Baryomunsi.
On there other hand, the two Presidents believe that this landmark milestone will serve as a catalyst for transformative change and ignite a new era of collaboration, connectivity, and prosperity for the people of Uganda and Tanzania.