Internet on the roof of Africa: climbers can now connect with the world from Mount Kilimanjaro

Emmanuel Kwarteng August 23, 2022
This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at // under the creative commons cc-by-sa 3.0 license.

Tanzania authorities have moved to install high-speed WiFi to provide internet connectivity for climbers from the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. The highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is located in northern Tanzania and rises to a height of over 19,000 feet (nearly 5,900 meters).

The Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation established the broadband service, which went live last week Tuesday, according to the country’s information ministry.

“Today Up on Mount Kilimanjaro: I am hoisting high-speed INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS (BROADBAND) on the ROOF OF AFRICA. Tourists can now communicate worldwide from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. WE ARE GOING TO UHURU PEAK 5880 Meters Above Sea Level!”, Tanzania’s Minister of Information, Communication, and Technology, Nape Moses Nnauye, said in a tweet.

Tourists shouldn’t climb the mountain without a connection to the internet, according to Nnauye. Mountaineering today involves a significant amount of technology. 

Internet access has been recognized by specialists to be helpful in increasing climbers’ awareness and aiding in the navigation of their climbs, in addition to the pleasure of live-streaming ascents on social media. At base camp on Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, climbers already have access to wi-fi.

“Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters who had to operate without internet” on Mount Kilimanjaro, Nnauye said at the Tuesday launch, adding that internet service will be extended to the summit of the mountain by the end of the year, according to the AFP.

The enormous peak’s home, Kilimanjaro National Park, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and contributes to Tanzania’s tourism industry. Thousands of people climb Kilimanjaro each year, with many aiming to reach the summit.

The focus on tourism is aligned with the economic contribution it makes to Tanzania. The World Bank estimates that as of 2019, tourism was the nation’s top source of foreign exchange, the second-largest contributor to GDP, and the third-largest employer.

The introduction of internet access on Mount Kilimanjaro was praised by Chen Mingjian, the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania. China is contributing to Tanzania’s government’s attempts to expand access to ICT infrastructure. China, which invested more than $4 billion in African infrastructure projects in 2020 alone, is another source of financial support for the project.

With over 35,000 individuals making an attempt to summit the mountain each year, Kilimanjaro is a significant source of tourism revenue for Tanzania and neighboring Kenya.

Broadband Infrastructure 

The National ICT Internet Backbone project, which is run by the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation on behalf of the government, is part of a wider infrastructure program that Tanzanian authorities are implementing to increase high-speed broadband availability throughout the nation.

Its goals include advancing information and communications technology for Tanzania’s “equitable and sustainable socioeconomic and cultural development” as well as giving landlocked neighbors like Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo access to global submarine fiber optic cables via Dar es Salaam.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 23, 2022


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