By Irene Gaitirira
Published January 7, 2016
Tanzania, eastern Africa’s fastest growing economy, is fast taking to a digital lifestyle.
Slightly more than 8% of the Kiswahili-speaking country’s 45 million people use Facebook. Followers of Tigo Tanzania, a leading telecommunications company, has just hit the one-million mark; 1015018 people on January 7, 2016, to be precise.
Experts say Tigo has achieved this fete by launching its platform on Facebook in Kiswahili, the language spoken by more than 80% of the country’s more than 130 ethnic groups.
The upsurge in the use of Tigo Facebook, analysts say, is due to its innovative products and services; 41% of the 4,144,40 Tanzanians using Facebook are on Tigo. It is the first company with the highest Facebook followers in Tanzania.
Diego Gutierrez, General Manager of Tigo, says, â€œWe are proud to have reached this milestone and thank our customers for their evangelistic loyalty to us. Tigo Tanzania will continue to cater for its customersâ€™ digital needs and offer even richer and more interactive digital content.â€
The sustained interest of followers of Tigo on Facebook has been buoyed by the launch, in 2014, of Facebook in Kiswahili, courtesy of Tigo Tanzania and Facebook. The partnership enables Tigo customers to access Facebook in both English and Kiswahili through their mobile phones without incurring additional data charges.
Kiswahili, spoken in eastern, central and southern Africa, is one of the working languages of the African Union (AU) and one of the three languages of the East African Community (EAC).
Tigo Tanzania is enabling Tanzanians and eastern Africans to access Facebook in a language they understand. It is alsoÂ contributing to the regional growth of the language.
â€œTigo is committed to digital lifestyle transformation and its leadership in delivering cutting edge technology and innovation in the telecom market is guaranteedâ€, says Gutierrez. Tigo Tanzania has a Techno Y3 Smartphones with a fully-embedded Kiswahili menu in the market.
Tigo Tanzania offers voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services. It has pioneered TigoPesa App for Android & iOS users; Tigo Music (Deezer); and East Africaâ€™s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion.
Tigo is said to be the biggest commercial brand of Millicom, an international company working in 12 countries in Africa and Latin America. It has corporate offices in Europe and North America.