18 June 2017

Tanzania: Precursors to Tanzania's Industrialisation Drive

So much has been written about Tanzania's quest for industrialisation come 2025--its shortfalls and strengths.

But most writers have fallen short of the point for dwelling so much on generalising the matter.

Experience has shown that unless there is tentative marketing of the products, empowerment of small scale industries and training, this dream will remain elusive. How then can Tanzanians harness the resources for industrialisation?

Firstly, while we have become accustomed to the notion that it is only foreign direct investments matter by virtue that they bring about direct employment and corporate taxes, the opposite is true. Propping up of backyard industries should be the precursor of industrialisation.

For example, Kiambu County in Kenya is home to milk processing factories. Farmers have learnt to utilise small acreages to rear cattle that produce as much as 25 litres of milk in the morning and similar amount in the evening. Some banks have now extended their loan portfolio to include cattle. The same can be done here.

The second precursor of industrialisation is active marketing and networking. Bringing together players in business is a key factor to usurp industrial development especially through the use of Tanzanian embassies abroad.

Secondly, foreign embassies in Tanzania should also be enjoined through exhibitions and forums. It is for similar reasons that the British Business Group Tanzania (BBG) on Thursday last week launched its 4th exhibition at Coral Beach Hotel with a view to bridging business people in different sectors of the economy, stakeholders and enthusiasts.

The exhibition took place at the time when Tanzania is gearing up for a grand takeoff in the industrial sector.

The exhibition launch was graced by the presence of the British High Commissioner, Ms Sarah Cooke, the Permanent Secretary of Industry at the ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Adelhelm Meru, and Mr Steve Gannon who is Chair of the Coastal BBG.

Speaking during the occasion, Ms Cooke urged Tanzanian business people to take advantage of the occasion to leverage on networks created by the event to shore up growth in nascent industries.

"We believe that such forums are precursors for creating an enabling environment for Tanzania to boost the private sector helps generate not only growth in the economy but are the way forward for realisation of the government's tentative objective of growth of infrastructure and other investments that help the economy grow further," she said.

BBG is a group of people working together with other civil society stakeholders to improve the business environment and economic potential of Tanzania. Membership of the BBG Tanzania gives access to a wide range of benefits, networking opportunities and resources.

It's the largest foreign group in Tanzania with more than 200 members in various sectors including Oil & Gas, Construction, Manufacturing & Retail, Energy & Renewables, Agriculture, Tourism, Legal services as well as Mining & Exploration.

Through the chapter meetings and communications mechanisms, members obtain first hand briefings from interesting speakers relevant to doing business in Tanzania, as well as links to other organisations and groups in the business environment.

The group works through networking and advocacy, and its members are resident British nationals employed or investing in Tanzania, or individuals who own or run companies in Tanzania which are majority British owned.

According to Dr Meru, Tanzania is poised to get to the next level of industrialisation and such networking plays very important roles especially where exchange of information is concerned.

"Networking and exchange of experiences in such forums is key to our development of initialisation objectives of making Tanzania a middle income industrialised country come 2022," he said.

BBG aims at improving the business environment and economic potential of Tanzania and to assist its members to focus on current business issues in Tanzania while providing a business and social forum for our members to exchange ideas.

BBG works closely with the British High Commission and other representative UK agencies in the active promotion of UK private sector input to the growth of transparent, well managed, sustainable and successful private enterprise in Tanzania.

BBG member companies number 240 in the country, with $0.5 billion (Sh1.15 trillion) and paying $200 million (Sh450 billion) to the treasury. Member companies employ more than 20,000 people.


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