RECENTLY, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Roundtable of Tanzania decided to award a seasoned investment promoter and expert, Mr Emmanuel Ole Naiko, with a Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Public Service Award in a colourful gala dinner held in Dar es Salaam recently.
Our Correspondent who attended the function trails some achievements of the winner of this prestigious award and highlights some messages he gave during that evening. Read on...
AFTER a thorough vetting process, at last the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania decided to award one, Mr Emmanuel Ole Naiko, with a Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Public Service Award in Dar es Salaam recently.
I am certain that the givers must have had gone through a challenging time in selecting a person to receive the prestigious award in this category which was the first one this year among the awards offered by this policy dialogue forum in Tanzania.
Their decision to pick Mr Ole Naiko was not by chance. Of course it was a result of his hard working, commitment and integrity toward promoting investment opportunities existing in gifted Tanzania. The Chairman, CEO Roundtable of Tanzania, Mr Ali Mufuruki, said that the selection committee arrived at the decision to award Mr Ole Naiko after looking at his impeccable record as a strong advocate of the private sector agenda during his many years of public service.
"Thanks in large part to your tireless efforts, many policies and regulations were put in place by our government that helped attract investments into Tanzania both foreign and local," Mr Mufuruki told Ole Naiko. He explained that even though Mr Ole Naiko has left active public service, members of the Roundtable continue to cherish his contribution to their growth.
Yes, Mr Ole Naiko's selection was not by chance but on merit. Mr Naiko who joined the agency in 1991 when it was called Investment Promotion Centre (IPC) rose through the ranks to become the Centre's Executive Director in the late 2005. Because of his endeavours, Tanzania was named among the 10 top global reformers in 2006, while in 2007; the agency was rated as the Best Investment Agency in the world - After care service.
In 2010 Tanzania was named among the top 10 in Green investment and Mauritius took the first position. His star shone outside the national boundary when he was elected to become the Vice- President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) in 2008, a position he served for three years running and later acknowledged for his exceptional efforts toward contribution to the advancement of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) globally.
You can easily sight Ole Naiko's footprints to date. For example, during his tenure as the TIC boss, he fought for the betterment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Tanzania. He understood that although SMEs sector employs a large percentage of the estimated 44 million Tanzanians, its contribution has been minimal due to limited access to capital and technical know-how.
It is this sorry situation that together with his team at TIC, decided to launch Business Linkages Programme way back in September 2009 so as to help address and look for solutions to help develop the country's potential sector. This programme run by TIC in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNACTAD) provides high level training to Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) on various areas all geared toward making them more productive; hence their own development and the country at large.
Creation of a viable middle class in Tanzania is still the wish of this seasoned investment promoter and expert. During a gala dinner in his honour, the award winner requested the Chairman of the Round Table, Mr Ali Mufuruki, to use his Knowledge and Experience he has in business to help Tanzania to build a Middle Class Economy.
Mr Naiko said that creating a viable middle class in Tanzania is a government's wish and that it should be honoured and implemented for the good of Tanzanians. Recalling his days at TIC, he said when President Jakaya Kikwete came to power he tasked TIC to spearhead the building of a Middle Class in Tanzania.
"Our primary focus then was to bring economically disadvantaged Tanzania into the mainstream of our economy as a Middle Class Stratum because nationally and internationally we have inherited and created institutions and systems that excludes too many of our people from global and national prosperity," he said. Explaining further, he said such measures would make Tanzanians play a more inclusive role in the national and global Business.
"We took that challenge seriously by creating a group of 80 young entrepreneurs... unfortunately this initiative was quickly hijacked by someone in one of the Ministries... we completely lost that drive," he said.Mr Naiko thanked all members of CEO Roundtable for their decision to nominate him for the award.
"Thank you for the love you showed me," he said. The long serving public servant said it is not right to blame past leaders of the Mining and Petroleum Sector by accusing them that they exposed the country to Bad Agreements with investors. "They say 'Wametuingiza kwenye Mikataba Mibovu,'" he said.
Explaining on that, Mr Naiko said such people are oblivious of the fact that before 1998, Tanzania did not have a single private Gold Mine in production. "It is only after that period Tanzania excelled into being one of the leading Gold Producers in Africa now producing between 30 -50 Mt per year," he noted.
On the Petroleum Sector, he said, many exploration companies have invested in this sub sector to the extent that very soon Tanzania will be leading as gas producer giant. "Some of the so-called "Mikataba Mobovu" were signed by people with highest integrity in our country and such people will never sign Mikataba Mibovu," he said.
Explaining further on that he said those leaders did that because they had only two options that; is leave the Minerals in the ground or get someone to extract it so that we can all benefit. "Those people condemning others for signing those Agreements is like laughing at our parents and grandparents who have brought us in mud houses," he noted. He said this is a process any country that promotes investments go through.
He gave an example of Mauritius which is today regarded as a shining example in Africa to attract investments to the extent that it's only in 2010 they slashed corporation tax from 30 per cent to 15 per cent. He said history shows that the country went through the same process like Tanzania but nobody goes back there to condemn what their predecessors did. "They started with the Sugar Cane Economy, now they are an ICT Economy," he said.