EXPORT Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) has said building huge base of industrial skills may make Tanzania the most preferred investment destination by global investors.
This was said by the EPZA Director General Col (retd) Joseph Simbakalia when addressing a delegation of senior lecturers from 16 Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutes from Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya participating in the Eastern Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) funded by the World Bank.
"Investors across the world are like the flying birds because they always go where there is friendly environment to support their businesses," he told the academicians during their tour at the Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zones in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
He said Tanzania and the rest in the continent have almost everything needed by investors' namely abundant raw materials and energy sources, sufficient land and huge market but lack of quality demand driven industrial skills is a shortfall that impedes flow of investment.
He challenged the academicians and their institutes to focus on nurturing skilled labours that are much needed by industrial investors from different parts of the world.
Speaking during the presentation, the EPZA Director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation, James Maziku said with the advent of the 4th industrial revolution, labour skills frameworks are set to change.
According to the World Economic Forum the skills sets required in both old and new occupations will change in most industries and transform how and where people work.
He said the government in collaboration with the Tanzania Tooku Garments has been conducting skills development to youth for working in the garment factory.
According to World Bank, low productivity and capacity impede the diversification, industrialisation, and modernization progress, and if not addressed could impede and even reverse economic growth.
Industrialization and Regional Integration are key development and transformation strategies for Africa.
By the end of the five year EASTRIP project, the 16 institutes will have at least doubled their capacity to collectively enroll 20,000 students on an annual basis in both long-term and short term training programs in the targeted disciplines.
A quality demand-driven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system can be a powerful engine for youth skills development leading to employment and poverty alleviation, and for economic restructuring and transformation, as already demonstrated in the Republic of Korea, Singapore and China, where TVET has been used as an instrument and channel for technology transfer and skills upgrading of workers.
The project supports the development of highly specialized TVET programs as well as industry-recognised short term certificate level training, and will target regional priority sectors in transport, energy, manufacturing and ICT.
EASTRIP will be financed by the World Bank as an IDA loan of 210 million US dollars and a grant of 83 million US dollars.