12 November 2012

Tanzania: Plenty of Land Available for Investment, Says TIC

Photo: Joanna Eede/Survivalinternational
Tanzania's Hadza’ homeland: Deep green woodland. (file photo).

TANZANIA has enough land for investment and housing purposes, Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has said, allaying fears that the country's land was up for grabs by multinational investors.

Acting TIC Executive Director, Mr Raymond Mbilinyi, said in Dar es Salaam during the weekend that so far, it is only 52 investors who hold valid title deeds that give them legal powers to own land for investment purposes, contrary to widelyheld and unfounded claims that investors are currently scrambling for Tanzania's land.

"We need Tanzanians to understand these things so they may get rid of widelycirculating unfounded assertions that investors are out to grab Tanzania's land," he told a TIC working group that discussed the need for Tanzania to have a land bank for investment purposes.

He said currently, it is only TIC that is legally allowed to give land to foreign investors, noting that so far, it is just a 'peanut' of the country's land that has been issued to investors. "If there is any foreign investor that has acquired land without TIC's approval, then that land has not been legally acquired and I urge Tanzanians to report such incidents to relevant authorities".

The law is very open on that aspect and in short, any foreign investor will have to go through TIC to be given land for investment purposes," he said. He called upon the government to simplify the process required for one to acquire title deeds to own land for investment.

Earlier, a member of the working group from the Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development Ministry, Ms Calister Lekule, said the ministry was in total support of the initiative to hasten the pace at which title deeds are offered. Speaking on behalf of the acting Commissioner for Lands, Ms Lekule said the ministry will participate actively in the process to survey and issue title deeds for investors' land bank.

"It's time we worked closely with TIC, municipal councils and individuals who hold land that is suitable for investment so that whenever investors come, we already have the land to give themÉ we have to go abreast the pace of globalization lest we be left out in the hunt for investors," she said.

According to TIC's manager for the Department of Land, Mr Desderius Narwango, 2010 records show that some 1,996,067.003 hectares have been surveyed and approved to be fit for investment purposes.

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