East Africa has experienced technological revolution after liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in the 1990s. This has improved communication services and infrastructure, particularly mobile telephone services which are widely accessed even in rural areas.

As part of promoting regional integration, countries in East Africa have invested in joint ICT infrastructure projects such as submarine cables, and optic fibre network connections which has reduced over reliance on satellite connection for voice and data.

While investment in infrastructure projects have further improved access to internet, it has not significantly reduced the costs which has limited internet penetration. The region has the lowest penetration rates in Africa though rates vary widely across countries.

However, the situation has remarkably improved since the sector was first liberalised. ICT Innovations in the region have fostered innovation and contributed to economic growth and provided employment opportunities for the youth.

Tanzania’s economic reforms have remarkably improved telephone service quantity and quality, although access to the internet remains a challenge. The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, the first such initiative in Africa, empowered 2.4 million mobile phone users in its first four years. The exchange now fields 1.2 million calls per month for price information.

The East African Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) is designed to address challenges in skills shortage and mismatch, by providing technical, financial and industry partnership to increase access and improve the relevance and quality of training programs in the 16 selected regional TVET flagship institutes.

The ESTRIP project supports the development of highly specialized TVET programs in ICT digital skills for training of technicians and TVET faculty. The Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) is the EASTRIP Regional Centre of Excellence for training students to acquire ICT skills.


Regional Flagship TVET Institute Focus
DIT Dar es Salaam Campus Hydro