The Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA), a flagship initiative of the Digital Strategy, identifies opportunities and risks in a country’s digital ecosystem to help the development, design, and implementation of USAID’s strategies, projects, and activities. It informs USAID Missions and other key decision-makers about how to better understand, work with, and support a country’s digital ecosystem.
The Tanzania DECA report presents the findings and recommendations of the Tanzania DECA. It outlines the key aspects of Tanzania’s digital ecosystem and provides 13 recommendations for creating a more inclusive, safe, and enabling environment. Guided by USAID/Tanzania priorities: i) foundational skills of children below age 15; ii) increasing empowerment, productivity, and engagement of Tanzanians aged 15 to 35; and iii) strengthening capacity of state and non-state actors to benefit future generations, the DECA process included desk research, consultations with USAID/Tanzania technical offices, and 76 key informant interviews with stakeholders from civil society, academia, and the private and public sectors.
Key findings include:
- While the Government of Tanzania prioritized increasing connectivity for all citizens over the last two decades, last-mile connectivity gaps persist.
- There is a large usage gap in Tanzania that is attributed to factors including lack of device and mobile broadband affordability, low levels of digital literacy, and a dearth of locally relevant content.
- While there has been greater openness over the past two years, nearly all of the restrictive laws remain in place and prospects for amending or repealing them remain uncertain.
- The government is committed to developing and promoting digital government services and systems and often relies on software solutions developed in-house.
- While the government has a National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) 2018-2022 that outlines a comprehensive framework for detecting, preventing, and combating cyber threats, the strategy is not shared widely or publicly.
- Mobile financial services are at the forefront of digital financial services uptake.
- Tanzania’s startup ecosystem is growing, with startups in a variety of sectors, although it is in its infancy and not yet enabled by explicit policies or regulations.
- E-commerce is in early stage development in both supply and demand. Weak enabling factors such as logistics infrastructure, addressing systems, and consumer protections regulations prevent the sector from realizing its full potential.
USAID’s Digital Strategy charts an Agency-wide approach to development in a rapidly evolving digital age. Building on decades of USAID leadership in digital development, the Strategy outlines USAID’s deliberate and holistic commitment to improve development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the use of digital technology and to strengthen open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems.