The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Over 90 percent of Tanzanians bank their money in the clouds

One day it may rain money in Tanzania, where majority of the country’s residents prefer to use digital services in conducting financial transactions.

Nearly 52 Million Tanzanians are using mobile financial services straight from the palm of their hands. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority has confirmed.

It has just been revealed in Arusha that Tanzania is pioneering digital inclusion in Africa with more than 90 percent of the country’s residents actively embarking on mobile financial services.

By September 2023 the TCRA Director General Dr Bakari Jabir announced that the number of active SIM cards in Tanzania was 67.1 Million, surpassing the country’s population which was 62 million as per the latest Census.

However the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), cautions against the equally increasing number of racketeers using the same platform to swindle the gullible users of their hard earned cash.

The TCRA Principal Corporate Communications Officer, Semu Mwakyanjala said cases of people receiving messages from unknown senders luring them into joining dubious projects or lotteries all of which are targeting to siphon their hard-earned cash from them.

Mwakyanjala revealed here that such cases have been rampant, even though the culprits are also being arrested on a daily basis.

“We still caution Tanzanians to stop responding in any way to those push messages from unknown people, but again, service providers should take action and help to protect their customers,” said Mwakyanjala.

The TCRA Communications Officer was speaking in Arusha at the threshold of the National Financial Services Week taking place at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium, where the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa is expected to grace the event in the coming days.

On the positive side, the TCRA officer points out that with the advancement of smartphone technology and speedier data services, most residents of rural areas, especially farmers, can now conduct mobile cash transfers in making or receiving payments.

“The TCRA has managed to lay proper ground works and infrastructure to ensure that mobile services are undertaken seamlessly,” said Mwakyanjala.

Within the decade, the country has also experienced significant economic growth with average annual Gross Domestic Produce growing at 7 percent and counting coupled with improvements in living conditions for many Tanzanians.

As the year 2023 comes to an end, more than over 90 percent of Tanzanians have been recorded to be using mobile money services, an increase from the previous 60 percent recorded in 2017, according to the TCRA.

It is being described to be quite a significant figure compared to the just 22 percent of the population which uses physical commercial banks’ services, indicating that most Tanzanians have by-passed financial institutions going straight to digital cash services.

The Tanzanian government recognized mobile money as a driver of financial inclusion, contributing to economic growth and social development, especially among women and rural populations.

On the other hand the African continent is experiencing a digital renaissance, led by increasing digital connectivity and access to mobile phones, which could drive inclusive growth and innovative digital financial services and contribute to the targets of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For instance it has been observed that Tanzania is now saving more than 60 billion/- annually after the deployment of the Government Electronic Payment Gateway (GePG), system of bill payments, transactions and digital receipt issuance.

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