Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

2 July 2014

Tanzania: Call for More Competitive Business

THE national economy cannot grow fast if firms are not competitive hence the need to establish a National Competitive Council (NCC).

The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Executive Director, Mr Godfrey Simbeye, said in Dar es Salaam during a panel discussion at the launch of the African Development Bank annual African Economic Outlook report.

Mr Simbeye argued that through a donor funded project to improve competitiveness of private firms, a lot was achieved.

"Unfortunately the project ended but we still need it today because firms which graduated are doing very well," argued Simbeye who said having the NCC will further address the problem of non competitiveness of locals firms.

He said competitive individuals firms reduce production costs, increase production and adhere to international standards which gradually impacts on the national economy.

"We did the national competitive report for one year and then the idea was hijacked by someone and nothing has happened to date," the TPSF chief noted.

The three year TPSF Cluster Competiveness Programme was a three year programme organised through the multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank with funding from Britain's Department for International Development and Danish International Development Agency.

The aim was to improve the competiveness of the local economy in food processing, horticulture, and tourism. The ultimate purpose of the Cluster Competitiveness Project is sustainable increased competitiveness of strategic clusters of local private enterprises.

European Union Head of Cooperation, Mr Eric Beaume and University of Dar es Salaam Head of Economics Department, Dr Jehovaness Aikaeli said a competitive economy is key to poverty eradication.

"The agricultural sector is very important to growth and poverty reduction in Africa because many people engage in farming," said Mr Beaume while pledging continued EU support to the country develop its private sector to meet global competitiveness benchmarks.

Dr Aikaeli stressed on the importance of regional integration saying local producers need bigger markets in the neighbourhood other than farther abroad. "In this regard, Africa is doing fine although the EU and south east Asia may be far ahead," Dr Aikaeli noted.

In its 2014 AEO report, AfDB said by participating more effectively in the global production of goods and services, Africa can transform its economy and achieve a development breakthrough.

The annual report which is produced jointly with OECD Development Centre, Economic Commission for Africa and the UN Development Programme said for 2014 and 2015, Africa has promising growth.

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