Tanzania: Kagera Region Readies for Major Investment Forum

KAGERA Region has formed a special committee comprising of six members as it prepares for a major business and investment forum in the region next month. Regional authorities have invited investors into the area, assuring them of security.

Among other things, the committee will compile documents and identify suitable areas for investment and tourism potentials, including Lake Victoria, the world largest fresh water lake.

Kagera Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Prof Faustin Kamuzora told the 'Daily News' in an interview that the Region has abundant untapped business opportunities due to its strategic geographical location bordering four countries. The region neighbours Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and lies across the lake from Kenya.

"The government is keen to ensure that investors conduct their business in a conducive and attractive environment.

Private sector is encouraged to exploit opportunities offered through the East African Community (EAC) common markets.

Kagera Region is a gateway to the East African Community (EAC) region due to its proximity to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya across Lake Victoria.

The region has enormous areas of arable land and a big potential to be a main food producer in the region," he said. Prof Kamuzora said the region had also set aside a big area for establishing medium and large industries.

This would invite Ugandan, Rwandan and Burundian investors to contribute in industrialization through construction of industries, hotels and other key sectors including agriculture, health, education and minerals. Industries that produce goods for mass consumption such as clothes, textiles and edibles are highly encouraged, he said.

He further elaborated that the region has established District Business Councils (DBC) to bring together private and public sectors. "We recently conducted a business investment conference involving officials from the Economic and Social Research Forum (ESRS), which was also attended by officials from the National Business Council (NBC)," he said.

He disclosed that the region focuses on attracting investment in agricultural sector that employs about 80 per cent of the population in the region. "We want investors to invest in agro-processing industries.

The Region has set aside about 60,000 hectares for livestock production which will enhance the building of industries for milk and beef production."

The Region is implementing "One District One Industry" philosophy whereby a cassava processing industry will be established in Ngara district. Karagwe district will have a beans processing factory while Muleba District will have a banana processing factory.

Kagera region is the leading coffee producer while three other crops including wheat, vanilla and sunflower have been identified as alternative cash crops that will get priority for large-scale irrigation farming.

While natural resources of different types are abundant, their exploitation for sustainable socio-economic development and transformation remains a daunting challenge.

The major focus is to ensure that we fully exploit all the tourism potentials that Tanzania has. Such potentials will include beach tourism, cultural tourism, resort and conference tourism just to mention a few.

Investment opportunities in the tourist attraction include photographic tourism, canoeing, sport fishing, walking safaris and camping.

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