FORMER Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye has urged Tazanians in the diaspora to support their country by touting its investment potentials to prospective foreign direct investors.
Mr Sumaye made the call when addressing the Tanzanian who live in the UK shortly before he opened the UK-Tanzania Investment Forum at the weekend.
He said that in recent years the Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) to Tanzania has grown tremendously to the tune of 1,705 US dollars last year from just 582 million US dollars in 2007 according to the World Investment Report 2013.
Apart from assisting to attract new FDIs, Mr Sumaye called on the people in the diaspora to introduce investments at home. He mentioned the critical areas of investments as energy, mining and information and communication technology (ICT) among others.
"Investing in Tanzania also guarantees you access to a market of more than 500 million people in Eastern and Southern Africa in which Tanzania enjoys preferential trading arrangements, by virtue of being a member of EAC and SADC," he said in a speech availed to the Daily News in Dar es Salaam.
The Diaspora has, for many years, been considered as people who have run away and that some were bad elements who should not be welcome back home. But today the people in the diaspora are regarded as important partners in development, he said.
He cautioned on the increasingly reported scrambles particularly for untapped natural resources in Africa. The phenomenon, he said, already attracts a lot of attention and focus towards Africa that may cause undue pressure for the continent.
"In this new scramble it seems the factors in the scramble equation have changed with the bold entry of China. I have always asked myself, who is worried by this new entry? Is it Africa or is it those who are already exploiting resources in Africa?
"To me the coming in of China into the natural resources scramble equation is very healthy if Africa. It can take control of the process," said Mr Sumaye.
The Trade and Investment Forum was organized by The New Deal Africa (UK) in collaboration with Tanzania High Commission in the UK, The Tanzania Trade Centre, London and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI).
The attendance in the forum included the Tanzania High Commissioner in London, Mr Peter Kalaghe and the Chairman of New Deal Africa, Mr Ayoub Mzee, among others.