May was a busy month in Tanzania. As the economy continues to grow and technology becomes more prevalent, Tanzania is becoming one of the fastest emerging countries in Africa. Here are a few of the top stories in Tanzania from the month of May.
Oman Supports Restoration of Zanzibar Historic Sites
The Unguja and Pemba islands are seen as the heart of Zanzibar. The Omani government will be giving a helping hand in renovating several historic sites in Unguja and Pemba in hopes of attracting even more tourism to the area. During a conversation with the Zanzibar Minister for ITCS, Said Ali Mbarouk, the Omani Director of Culture Sheikh Hassan Allawaki made the promise to help renovate historic buildings throughout Zanzibar.
Some of the notable sites that will receive rehabilitation are the House of Wonders and the Maruhubi Sultanate palace ruins. In December 2012, part of the House of Wonders building collapsed. The community grew upset
and blamed the damage on a lack of maintenance of the museum that is owned by the government. As the largest structure in Stonetown, locals and tourists are very excited to learn that the building will finally get the attention it deserves. The Maruhubi Sultanate was originally built in 1882. It was later destroyed in 1899 by a fire but the ruins still remain.
The cost of the renovations has not been released yet, but Allawaki stated “we offer the help because of good relations with Zanzibar.” Zanzibar relies heavily on tourism to support their economy, with over 80% of foreign currency attributed to tourists. The renovations have been long overdue but a lack of funds has prevented them from taking place until now.
BTL and Nagra Bring DTT Service to Tanzania
Adding to Tanzania’s technological advancements, Basic Transmissions Limited (BTL) is using Nagra’s MediaAccess smartcard solution to launch a Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service in Tanzania.
The launch marks the beginning of a new television viewing experience for Tanzanians. The DTT platform will provide higher quality television by moving to digital instead of analogue. Consumers will be able to enjoy digital television in a cost efficient manner. They will also have the benefits of scalability and flexibility as well.
Not only is the pricing right, but BTL’s solution is also energy efficient as well. The move to digital will put Tanzania at the forefront of digital TV in East Africa. The CEO of BTL, John Hayghaimo, stated “Thanks to their expertise and flexible and robust solution we are able to provide Tanzanians with access to high-quality digital programming and value-added services that will revolutionize television viewing in this country by opening up new ways for viewers to enjoy television and all that the move to digital has to offer.”
Tanzania Signs Port Deal with China Merchants Holdings
In the end of May, Tanzania signed an agreement with China Merchants Holdings Co Ltd to construct a new port and a railway network worth more than $10 billion according to the Tanzanian government. The port will be built in Bagamoyo, 75 kilometers north of Dar es Salaam. The goal is to help give some relief to the Dar es Salaam port which is the second largest in East Africa.Foreign Minister Bernard Membe stated “Along with the construction of the port, the same firm will also build an export processing zone, a modern town plus road and rail infrastructure.” Tanzania is reportedly negotiating with the Chinese government to help with the financing of the project. The construction of the infrastructure is scheduled to begin in 2015. The current focus of the project is securing financing.
Last but not least, the Karibu Travel Fair took place at the end of May with over 300 companies from East Africa participating and displaying on the grounds. Over 7,500 visitors attended this major travel industry fair, networking, building social and business relationships. Direct Pay Online displayed its new mobile app and received excellent responses from countless travel providers.
Eran Feinstein is the founder of Direct Pay Online. Direct Pay Online provides global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries He is a leading authority in the fields of e-commerce, travel and payments, having acquired extensive experience from various parts of the world.