Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: ICF Project Portfolios Spread to 49 African Countries

PORTFOLIOS for the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) have reached 49 countries across Africa. According to the ICF Chief Executive Officer, Omari Issa, their portfolios have made a significant impact on African development through improving investor confidence across the countries which include Tanzania.

In its annual report for activities carried out in 2011, ICF says it has rapidly proven the effectiveness of its novel approach and implemented relevant initiatives that have delivered tangible results across Africa. The Facility, headquartered in Dar es Salaam, is currently working on Modernization of Customs Administration.

"ICF in partnership with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will modernise customs administration in the Port of Dar es Salaam. The project will deliver integrated custom administration software to streamline procedures, reducing the time taken to clear customs to eight days and with only 11 procedures," it notes.

The report notes ICF is also working on Movement and Security of Goods and Services. "ICF in partnership with the Tanzania Police Force will improve movement and security of goods and services. Through increased training of the Force and the introduction of new technology, procedures will be streamlined and road blocks removed, enhancing highway security and expediting the movement of goods," it notes.

Mr Issa says that during 2011 they worked directly with 16 progressive African governments to deliver projects that have demonstrably improved critical aspects of the business climate for their citizens. He says that one of the most gratifying elements of ICF's model is their demand driven ethos.

"We have not embarked on a top down hard selling approach to potential client governments. Rather, the quick and tangible impact of our early projects has driven a surge in demand for ICF services from both the public and private sectors across Africa," he says.

Their project portfolio, he said, now stands at 49 and continues to grow. "To give you some vivid examples of the effectiveness of this approach, he said that, for example, they have, in Burkina Faso, established a one-stop-shop to streamline the process of land registration thereby reducing the time it takes to transfer property from 182 days to 21 and saving thousands of dollars in costs.

In Rwanda, the newly launched commercial courts are delivering a huge boost to investor confidence -- a benefit which is also being experienced in Zambia, Tanzania and Sierra Leone through similar projects. "While the leadership of these governments are ICF's main champions, ICF reaches many additional countries working in partnership with regional organisations.

This has the added benefit of promoting cross border collaboration and adoption of harmonised practices and procedures," he said. ICF is currently working harmoniously with the East African Community (EAC) including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

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