Tanzania’s Jamii Forums Forced To Close Over New Regulations



Jamii Forums, the popular Tanzania based forum has been forced to close due to the new regulations that were effected recently in the country.

The popular forum platform will stop offering its services from today (11th June 2018) since it would contravene the directive issued by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA). The directive warns blogs, online forums or online radios/TVs from providing services without a licence from today until the deadline, which is on 15th June 2018.

On their website, there is a notice from the management that explains the move and it is thanks to the new regulations. Here is the notice in Swahili:

Kutokana na notisi iliyotolewa na Mamlaka ya Mawasiliano Tanzania(TCRA) leo Juni 10, 2018 inayotoa muda mfupi wa kututaka kusitisha utoaji huduma mara kabla ya Juni 11, 2018, tunalazimika kutii mamlaka na hivyo huduma hii haitapatikana kwa muda wakati tukifanya jitihada za kuhakikisha huduma inarejea.

Maudhui ya notisi ya TCRA yanapatikana hapa: https://goo.gl/6tnBhR

Kwa wateja wetu walio nchi nyingine, huduma hii itarejea mapema zaidi lakini kwa walio Tanzania kurejea kwa huduma kutategemeana na matokeo ya hatma ya jitihada za wawakilishi wetu walio Tanzania.

Tunasikitika kuwa tunalazimika kufikia hatua hii ghafla lakini ni matumaini yetu kuwa wateja wetu mtaendelea kuwa wavumilivu katika kipindi hiki.

Uongozi – JamiiForums

Here is the loosely translated text in English:

From the notice issued by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) today (June 10 2018) that gave us a short notice to cease the provision of services from 11th June 2018, we are forced to comply with the directive and thus, this service won’t be available for now while we make efforts to ensure the services resume.

Content from the noticed issued by the TCRA can be found here: https://goo.gl/6tnBhR

To our users from other countries, this service will be restored earlier than those that live in Tanzania and this restoration of service will depend on the outcome of the efforts of our representatives in Tanzania.

We are saddened by the fact we are forced to take this sudden action, but we hope that our users will be patient during this time.

Management- Jamii Forums

Jamii Forums is an insanely popular website in Tanzania. According to Alexa, it is no.8 below the usual Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, Blogspot and Wikipedia. This means it is the top local website in the country and this forced shutdown of the website will sure affect a lot of people out there.

Tanzania signed into law the Electronic and Postal Communications Regulations which govern Internet use in the country back in April. Bloggers and activists fought the punitive regulations and were given a temporary injunction but the Tanzanian High Court restored the tough regulations.

According to a Tanzanian local paper, the TCRA had cleared only 45 online content providers in an article posted on 26th May. Interesting enough, out of the 262 organizations and individuals who had applied to be registered, 178 had not met the licencing requirements. Only 65 met the requirements and 45 managed to pay the fees.