12 February 2013

Tanzania: Let's Cut the Talk Short, It's Time to Create Jobs

OPENING the National Executive Committee (NEC) of CCM in Dodoma on Sunday, the party's National Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, added his voice in expressing concern on the ever-growing unemployment in the country.

The chairman, however, went further, calling upon the party leadership to work out strategies for addressing the problem rather than making endless complaints and expressing the magnitude of the issue.

Mr Kikwete rightly pointed out that it would be more meaningful if leaders of CCM and other senior government officials presented solutions or useful tips in reversing the trend. There are many examples, where CCM leaders, including members of NEC, have repeatedly complained on unemployment among the youth in the country, likening the situation to a time bomb.

There is no doubt at all that unemployment is among the serious challenges that the nation is currently facing. Official records show that 11 per cent of the 45 million people in the country are not employed, which is an army of over 2,370,000 people.

But despite the magnitude of the problem, there are some figures within CCM leadership and elsewhere currently engaged in various activities designed at frustrating local and foreign investors. Huge investments in various labour intensive projects such as large-scale commercial farming, textile and garment manufacturing, agro-processing and light industries are among strategies that can create millions of jobs in both rural areas and urban centres.

It is hoped that leaders in CCM and elsewhere will heed the national chairman's appeal for encouraging investments from anywhere in the world provided they are lawful and in line with the public policy.

It should be noted that Tanzania is not the only country in the world scouting for investments, for even the richest nations such as the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Germany are also aggressively looking for investors in many fields.

We are not alone. It is rather absurd to see some groups of people in the pretext of politics engaged in activities likely to scare away investors, some of them about to execute projects worth billions, if not trillions, of US dollars, which have taken several decades to mobilise.

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