A LOCAL NGO, Tanzania Creative Industries Network (TACIN) is looking for support to launch public awareness campaigns on wide opportunities to be created by the impending gas economy in the southern regions of Lindi and Mtwara.
The TACIN Executive Chairman, Mr Anic Kashasha, told 'Daily News' on Wednesday that the campaigns were aimed at unlocking the potential of the gas boom to the residents of the southern regions.
He said their target was to create awareness to the public on how they could benefit from enormous opportunities beyond the mainstream gas industry.
"We need to enlighten the public on how best their chances to benefit from the gas economy need to expand beyond the mainstream gas industry," he said in an interview.
"Most of the people in Mtwara and Lindi may not enter into the mainstream gas economy but that does not mean they cannot participate in it," he said.
He said TACIN had picked tourism as an entry point to link the natural gas economy with the local economy for job creation and income generating activities and they planned to hold a cultural festival in Mtwara later this year.
"We plan to develop cultural tourism. It thrives in the northern zone... it evolves there naturally but for Lindi and Mtwara we need to initiate... we need to stimulate it," he said.
There were great potential for promotion of cultural tourism in Lindi and Mtwara which would provide opportunities for job creation and income generation activities, he said.
For instance, there are a lot of foreign investors going to Mtwara but they have to come to Dar es Salaam to buy souvenirs such as Makonde carvings. People can open souvenir shops in Mtwara and make a lot of money," he said.
Mr Kashasha listed tour operators, hotels and lodges, bars and restaurants and arts and crafts among clusters that could be used to boost tourism in the southern regions.
"Tourism will stimulate construction industry and trade in building materials and ultimately create direct and indirect jobs to thousands," he said.
Agriculture and livestock sector will also be stimulated because the demand for food and fruits for instance will increase. We see there are a lot of opportunities beyond the mainstream gas economy," he said.
Mr Kashasha said a number of government ministries and agencies were impressed with the TACIN idea and had pledged to work together with the organisation to see the idea being implemented.
He said discussions were underway with other major stakeholders like the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) ready to see how they can support the plan.