PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has directed industries in the country to utilize local raw materials, to increase job opportunities for youths in the country.
President Kikwete, who was presiding over the Best Employer Awards ceremony on Wednesday night, stressed the importance of employers' cooperation with the government to increase employment opportunities for youths in the country.
Thirty companies participated in the competition where the Standard Chartered Bank emerged the overall winner to become best employer of the year, scooping a gold award.
Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) came second receiving bronze while CRDB scooped the third place, receiving silver.
The Employer of the Year Award was prepared and organized by the Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE) to promote and encourage best human resources management practices and to improve organizational productivity and competitiveness.
President Kikwete urged local industries to cultivate a habit of buying local materials instead of importing, noting that in one of his official visits to Egypt, he found out that some Tanzania companies import chicken from Egypt. "I fail to understand why an industry or company in the country would import goods and materials that are locally available?" queried President Kikwete.
He said if such exportations were carried out from the country, it would increase job opportunities, adding that government's effort alone will not move the nation from least developed or low income to middle income, unless the private sector chips in.
The president challenged employers to work with the government in two import areas; developing human resource, especially in sustaining development of institutions and industries. He said agriculture which is the backbone of the nation needs the cooperation between government and the private sector to boost the 'Kilimo Kwanza' programme, which focuses on increasing production, which will in turn enable trade and increase job opportunities.
ATE chairman, Mr Almas Maige said the awards are focused on promoting and encouraging best management practices and increase productivity and competitiveness. ATE Executive Director, Mr Aggrey Mlimuka noted that this year's event was different from previous ones organized since 2005 because there were some additional awards categories and all participants were given a certificate of participation.
This is the fifth event since it was introduced in 2005. ATE is the most representative employers' organization with more than 1,000 members in the country. One of its duties is to promote harmonious labour relations at the workplace and practices in the human resources management for smooth running of businesses.