Tanzania: Coast Races Ahead in Attracting Investments

Kibaha — Tanzanians could soon purchase vehicles assembled in the country if all goes well for a Tanzanian who is currently building a plant.

Budget Motors Co Ltd, located in Kibaha District, is one of the many upcoming projects in Coast Region which is now increasingly becoming a preferred investment haven for local and foreign investors.

Latest figures show that the region is now second to Dar es Salaam in terms of attracting investments in the wake of implementing industrialisation drive.

The region is geographically close to Dar es Salaam - a situation which gives it an advantage of proximity to the sea port.

Coast Regional Commissioner Evarist Ndikilo says the region has a total of 429 industries - including small, medium and large ones - which "are a result of careful planning that ensures the industrial agenda is realised."

According to him, his office has been having meetings with local leaders including district commissioners, district executive directors (DEDs), as well as village chairpersons to strategise and focus on industrialisation through putting in place a conducive environment.

"I directed all relevant authorities in the region to set aside land for industrial investment as well as eradicating all bureaucracy, especially in accessing land," he says.

Other than that, Mr Ndikilo says they have had dialogue with all relevant institutions including Tanzania Rural and Urban Road Agency (Tarura) to put up necessary infrastructure like roads, water and electricity; and the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) to conduct surveys in a reasonable timeframe for investors.

"I have talked to immigration officers to issue resident and work permits on time and asked land department to also issue building permits without bureaucracy," he said.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Coast Region attracted a total of 48 new projects in 2017 alone, only second to Dar es Salaam which had its 163 projects registered by Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).

Kibaha District is one of the areas which have promising future as far as industrialisation is concerned. The district has set aside 13,805.27 acres for industrial parks.

Kibaha District Commissioner Assumpter Mshama says that the district has 52 factories including the pharmaceutical industries which are under construction.

Several industrial parks are in the district including the Zegereni - where the $15 million Budget Motors Co Ltd is being constructed.

In Kibaha, there is also a dry port project and the district is close to the standard gauge railway (SGR) that is under construction.

"On roads, we have them although we are also in consultation with the government for expansion of more roads to facilitate transportation of goods from the factories. We are also in plan to put up water infrastructure that will ensure there is adequate supply of water for the people as well as our industries," she stresses.

Mr Jonas Nyagawa - an investor in the Budget Motors Co Ltd - says he's happy with some infrastructure in Kibaha but says the district lacks sufficient water for industries.

Ms Mshama calls on Tanzanians to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the industries including growing quality and quantity of tomatoes to establish processing factories.

She says once the dry port comes into operation, there will be need for hotels in the district to accommodate travellers.

Further, she says that locals should take advantage of the business opportunities as investors would need vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and other food items.

Contacted for comment, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (Tanesco) senior zonal manager for Dar es Salaam and Coast regions, Mr Mahende Mugaya, says they plan to establish a substation with a capacity of 100 megawatt in Zegereni industrial park by 2021.

He says another substation capable of handling 15MW is planned for Kisarawe by 2023.

According to him, demand for electricity in Coast Region ranges between 70 and 100 megawatts on a daily basis.

When contacted on the issue of road expansion to accommodate industrialisation, Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) CEO Patrick Mfugale said that the government was involved in all budgetary allocations, and once funds were allocated they would be in a position to expand roads in Coast Region.

Despite all the developments in Kibaha, Mkuranga and Bagamoyo, Kisarawe District is far behind in realising the industrialisation goal due to inadequate infrastructure which had led to investors shunning the area.

The district allocated 1,000 acres at Visegese area as an industrial park but investors are not forthcoming.

There are only three industries that are so far operating, including Lucky Cement in Kazimzumbwi area, Prayosha industry as well as Mkongoma Continental Chalk.

"We are currently in talks with the relevant authorities to ensure the area is upgraded to attract investors to our district," says the district commissioner, Ms Jokate Mwegelo.

She hopes the district will be transformed into an economic hub once road, water and electricity infrastructure were upgraded at industrial parks.

Visegese area is linked with Kibaha by a road that can accommodate vehicles weighing not more than ten tonnes.

"I am optimistic that when the district gets reliable infrastructure we will be able to come up with numerous initiatives, including putting up a honey processing factory, taking into consideration that we have forests and our air is clean for beekeeping," Ms Mwegelo says.

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