21 June 2012

Tanzania: Law On Small Businesses in Offing

THE government plans to take to parliament Business Activities Registration Act (BARA) for enactment of a law that will create an enabling environment for development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, said in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that the Act was intended to be passed by Parliament with a view to improve the legal and regulatory framework and reduce the cost of formalising business.

"The Act has provisions for creation of institutions that will collect and make available information that may be useful to SMEs," Dr Kigoda told participants while opening 13th International Conference on African Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ICAESB).

The minister said the government was committed to facilitate SMEs to become credible partners in contributing towards economic development and poverty reduction together with improving physical infrastructure. "The government established a credit guarantee scheme for SMEs to improve accessibility to financial services from formal financial institutions," Dr Kigoda said.

He noted that the government continues to implement the Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS) in order to create a favourable environment for investment and business and promote broad-based participation in production and trade.

"Through the strategy, the government has continuously endeavoured to improve the business environment by streamlining regulations, improving private sector access to capital and providing business support services in management, production and marketing," he said.

However Dr Kigoda said the power problem remained a major challenge to business growth and that the problem poses a threat to enterprises largely in the manufacturing sector. "The power problem may actually be the single most critical cause on an increase in the cost of doing business in Tanzania," he said.

The two-day conference which goes under the theme 'Entrepreneurship, Private Sector and Sustainable Development in Africa' is aimed at discussing problems facing small enterprises in Africa. The conference is part of a series of conferences organized and hosted annually by the University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS).

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