By Peter Kanjere
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited has complemented the government’s efforts of reducing the cost of data by signing a commercial agreement with Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) on Friday, 8th September 2023.
The agreement will enable Malawi access high-speed optical fibre-based network, thereby ensuring internet that is affordable, available, fast and reliable across the country.
ESCOM Chief Executive Officer Mr Kamkwamba Kumwenda and his TTCL counterpart Peter Ulanga signed the agreement for the Integration of the Tanzania-National ICT Broadband Backbone with Malawi National Fibre Backbone Infrastructure in Zanzibar.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kumwenda described the agreement as a landmark in achieving regional integration in e-processes including cyber security
“This project is part of Malawi government’s ambitious plan not only to interconnect with Tanzania and neighbouring countries with optic fibre infrastructure but also extend fibre into all other areas to enable greater accessibility to high-speed internet. Internet that is reliable and affordable to all Malawians, to propel development,” Kumwenda said.
“Tanzania is in a critical position to make the region make strides in connectivity as it has several undersea cables landing on its shores on one hand, and has quite a number of landlocked neighbouring countries on the other hand. Tanzania stands to facilitate the digitalisation of the region. Hence Malawi initiated the collaboration in the ICT sector in general and specifically in the Diplomatic Data Corridor.”
The government is implementing the backbone project through ESCOM which operates the National Data Centre. TTCL is the implementing agency for Tanzania.
The objective of the project is to connect all major sectors of the economy such as the government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), essential service providers, including health establishments, schools and water treatment plants, corporate companies, SMEs,and households in the country to the National Fibre Backbone. The Fibre Backbone also interconnects with all neighboring countries.
The project is in line with the Malawi 2063 which seeks to digitize all the sectors of the country to spur socio economic development for Malawi; to realise its dream of becoming an Inclusively Wealthy and Self-Reliant Nation.
The agreement will create a Diplomatic Data Corridor through Tanzania that will help to make the internet in Malawi more affordable.
Minister of Information and Digitalisation, Moses Kunkuyu, led Malawi’s delegation comprising the Government and ESCOM officials whereas Nape Nnauye, MP, Tanzania’s Minister of Information Communication and Information Technology, led the hosts’ delegation.
Kumwenda (right) and Ulanga sign the agreement—Picture courtesy of TTCL