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Cost of smartphones continues the digital divide in Tanzania

Type of Resource:
Policy brief

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- Solutions or Strategies
- Trends

- Internet Access, Affordability And Use

Author(s): ResearchICTAfrica

Trends: A nationally representative ICT Survey recently completed by Research ICT Africa (RIA) finds 43% of Tanzanian population does not own a mobile phone. The Survey also identifies the cost of smartphone devices to be a major inhibiting factor on Internet take up. Voice is still king with 80% of communication expenditure in Tanzania being spent on voice/SMS services. Solutions: An immediate policy intervention that could reduce the cost of smart phones instantly by 20% would be to remove the excise duty placed on smartphones. This will result in increased uptake and use of data services. In turn, that would make companies more profitable, with an increase in company taxes quickly making up for any shortfalls from the removal of excise duties. In addition the positive social and economic multipliers associated with increased connectivity, such a move would contribute more broadly to economic growth and development.


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