Dar es Salaam — The manufacturing sector commanded the lion's share of the $15.75 billion (Sh35 trillion) projects registered in the country during the first four years of President John Magufuli's administration.
Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) data shows that the sector accounted for 53 per cent of the total number of projects that were registered during the period.
This explains why the government has been pushing its industrialisation agenda through which it aims to turn Tanzania into a semi-industrialised country by 2025.
Agriculture, which employs the vast majority of Tanzanians of working age, accounted for only seven per cent of investment projects in the last four years, TIC figures show.
TIC executive director Geoffrey Mwambe said yesterday that 1,174 new projects created 159,833 direct jobs.
He, however, did not give a breakdown of the share of locals and foreigners in the projects.
"Out of 1,174 projects, the manufacturing sector accounted for 626. This is the outcome of the government's promotion of industrialisation," noted Mr Mwambe.
Other sectors and their percentages of projects registered during the first four years of President Magufuli's administration include Commercial Buildings (10), Transportation and Logistics (9), Tourism (8) and Agriculture (7).
Mr Mwambe explained that with the industrialisation dream, the government was shaping investors' way of thinking and that is why the sector took the lead in terms of attracting investors.
The manufacturing sector created 60,465 direct jobs during the period.
Noting that new investments could be attributed to improvement in the business environment, Mr Mwambe said the establishment of TIC's One-Stop Facilitation Centre has helped to cut red tape and eventually increase investor confidence.
He said the number of officials from other government facilitating agencies who work at the centre jumped from five when President Magufuli came into office to 25 to date.
The officials are those representing Immigration, the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Land, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Tanzania Medicine and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
Others are National Environment Management Council (Nemc), Occupational Safety and Health Authority (Osha), the National Identifications Authority (Nida) and Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (Brela).
He added that previously, TIC had regional offices in Mbeya, Mwanza and Moshi only, but last year it opened others in Kigoma, Dodoma and Mtwara.
Mr Mwambe said the plan was to open the Dar es Salaam-Coast zone office.
The two regions account for 56 per cent of all investments in the country, according to the TIC boss.
Furthermore, in a fresh bid to cut bureaucracy, TIC plans to have a one stop facilitation centre at each of its regional offices
"We are doing all in our power to make Tanzania a best destination for investors.
"Investors need to be assured of business predictability that is why we are creating friendly investment climate."
East Africa's second biggest economy is banking its hopes on reforms climbing three places in the World Bank's 2019 Doing Business Report.
The report, which compares business regulations in 190 economies, ranks Tanzania 141st, up from 144th previously. "With the implementation of the blueprint which just started in July this year, we stand a chance to do even better in terms of attracting new investments," Mr Mwambe said.