Internet Usage in Tanzania Surges 17% in One Year Due to Kiswahili Content


The number of internet users in Tanzania has witnessed a significant 17% increase over the past year, reaching 34.05 million, as reported by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). This remarkable growth is attributed to the availability of Kiswahili content on various digital platforms, propelling internet adoption across the country.

The TCRA’s performance report for the quarter ending June 2023 also revealed insights into the internet habits of Tanzanians, with video streaming emerging as the most significant consumer of bandwidth. YouTube leads the way, with 50.18 million gigabytes (GBs) consumed, making it the preferred destination for entertainment, education, and information.

Positive Development: Boosting Internet Accessibility and Development

Dr. Jabiri Bakari, the Director General of TCRA, emphasized the importance of Kiswahili content in fostering internet adoption in Tanzania. As the nation’s digital landscape continues to evolve, the availability of local content and language-specific applications plays a crucial role in catering to the needs of the Tanzanian audience. Dr. Bakari expressed optimism that internet usage will increase further due to the government’s reduction of Right of Way (RoW) charges, making it more affordable to lay fibre optic cables.

According to TCRA’s acting Director of Industrial Affairs, Engineer Victor Kweka, the report highlights how enhanced technical infrastructure and user-friendly features on various social media platforms have contributed to widespread internet accessibility and optimal utilization of multiple services. This has led to a surge in internet users exploring various online platforms.

Dr. Bakari believes that the growth in internet usage will unlock numerous opportunities for businesses and individuals, contributing significantly to Tanzania’s overall development. With the increased accessibility and affordability of the internet, more Tanzanians can now participate in the digital economy and access valuable online resources.

Promoting Innovation

As the internet becomes an integral part of daily life in Tanzania, TCRA is committed to ensuring that communication sector regulations promote innovation, competition, and accessibility while safeguarding consumer interests. The focus remains on supporting the development of local content and encouraging the growth of language-specific applications to cater to the diverse needs of Tanzanian users.

The report also highlights the popularity of social media platforms among Tanzanians. Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram have maintained a strong presence in the country, with millions of gigabytes of bandwidth consumed for these platforms. Tanzanians are actively engaging with diverse content and connecting with others through these social media channels.

Dr. Bakari’s vision aligns with the government’s digitalization agenda, aimed at preparing Tanzania to fully participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The growing internet usage is indicative of the country’s readiness to embrace technological advancements and leverage digital opportunities for socio-economic growth.

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