Tanzania: Arusha to Set Up Investment Desk in Renewed Drive

Arusha — The Arusha regional commissioner's office of is in the process of setting up a special desk to fast-track the handling of investment issues.

This is part of wider efforts by the regional administration to attract more investors to the region.

The facility will work in collaboration with the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), but its formation is geared to cut down red tape.

This comes at a time when a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Coast Region attracted a total of 48 new projects in 2017 alone, only second from Dar es Salaam which had its 163 projects registered by TIC.

Mwanza, which is the second contributor to Tanzania's gross domestic product after Dar es Salaam, came third, with only 28 projects.

Arusha, which sits on a number of tourist attractions, had 15 projects registered by TIC in 2017. Apart from the four, the other regions that are somewhat attractive to investors are Morogoro and Dodoma, which attracted 11 projects each.

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Each of all the remaining regions recorded less than ten projects with TIC.

But Arusha Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo told The Citizen that the special unit, to be established as a 'one stop centre' for all investment matters in his region, will surely see Arusha shining.

"It will commence work as soon as possible. The earmarked members of staff have been sent for training in Dar es Salaam," he said.

Services to be offered at the centre will include processing of work and residence permits for foreign investors and requisite clearances from a host of regulatory bodies.

Specifically, the desk would seek to tackle procedures associated with the Immigration issues, licensing and business registration.

However, he was categorical the new unit would not take over the core tasks of TIC whose northern zone offices are in Moshi.

"Our unit will work closely with TIC," he affirmed, noting that there were worries the latter could be overburdened by increasing procedures for investments.

Recently, there was pressure to relocate the TIC zonal offices to Arusha from Moshi due to higher investment flows to the former compared to the latter.

However, it was turned down, with TIC director general Geoffrey Mwambe insisting that Arusha and other regions in the zone were equally served like Kilimanjaro.

Mr Gambo revealed the investment strategies for his region last week after opening a stakeholders' meeting on horticultural investments in the country.

He said although the sub-sector had great potential for the national economy -with over 10 big firms in Arusha alone - bureaucracy was posing a problem.

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