THE CEO Roundtable of Tanzania is optimistic that the discoveries of vast deposits of natural gas has the potential to lift the country from the category of least developed countries to a modern and prosperous, gas fuelled economy.
Speaking at the Annual CEO Roundtable Gala Dinner 2012 in Dar es Salaam on Saturday, the forum's Chairman, Mr Ali Mufuruki, said that as a private sector, they believed that a bright future beckoned if the country would manage the newly-found resource well.
"If we can work together in a smart way, if we can together build bridges between the public and private sectors to marshal the resources and policies we need to extract economic value from the natural gas, a bright future for our country is within reach," he told roundtable members, cabinet ministers, diplomats and MPs.
Tanzania recently raised its estimate of recoverable natural gas reserves to 33 trillion cubic feet (tcf) from 28.74 tcf following fresh and big offshore discoveries. The government has already expressed optimism that the gas finds would help to transform the largely farming, mining and tourism driven economy.
Mr Mufuruki highlighted the gas finds as one of the 2012 events that have the potential to impact the economic growth trajectory of the country. He said the year will be remembered as the one when the private sector made a bold decision to take charge of its own destiny, adding that a new-look Tanzania Private Sector Foundation is envisaged soon -- as a result.
Elaborating, Mr Mufuruki said the new look foundation would both be inclusive and representative of all Tanzania's diverse private sector interests and whose governance structures and calibre of management will ensure effective delivery of the expected outcomes.
The main objective of the CEO Roundtable is to cultivate stronger, more effective and productive ties between the public and private sectors in Tanzania. He said they do this primarily by engaging in economic and social policy dialogue and analysis with senior government officials with the view to supporting the emergence over time, of a strong, equitably shared and globally competitive economy in the country.
"In more than twelve years of working together, we have built an increasingly robust and productive partnership with successive governments of the country, with our legislature, with our development partners and various diplomatic missions in the country," he said.
During the event, the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Mr Peniel Lyimo, was picked the CEO Roundtable's Public Sector Partner of the year 2012. He was awarded for "having worked tirelessly for many years and with unequalled commitment in transforming the way the government engages with the private sector equally in matters of policy dialogue, investments and public private partnerships".
Mr Lyimo was further described as a very dedicated senior civil servant whose years of service have been marked by exceptional probity, inspired leadership, wisdom, hardwork, all in the service of his country and its people.
The roundtable has also this year introduced the "Lifetime Distinguished Public Service Award", which recognizes a public servant whose career has been marked by exceptional contributions to improvement of the investment climate. The award went to former Executive Director of Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Mr Emmanuel Ole Naiko.