The Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji has urged business people to make efficient use of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by exporting processed goods that will ultimately help in creating more jobs for Tanzanians.
Exporting raw materials to the AfCFTA market will deprive Tanzanians of job opportunities, especially young people and women.
Dr Kijaji made the call on Tuesday at a meeting with business persons to discuss opportunities brought by the AfCFTA.
“Once we sell raw material to the market we reduce employment to Tanzanian women and youth who are ready to work.
It is very important now for the industries themselves to talk together about what we should do to increase production in our factories and to continue generating jobs,” said Dr Kijaji
Dr Kijaji said once the business person exports raw materials to the AfCFTA market other African countries take it as an opportunity to buy at a low price and go to make final products that will bring back to the market and sell them at a higher price, including Tanzanian.
She said Tanzanians should see how they can use the sea and the land they have to increase the national income.
“As a nation, we are blessed, we have a fertile land than our neighbours and we can produce agricultural products that will be sold throughout Africa and worldwide,” she said.
Dr Kijaji asked Tanzanians and business people in general to produce quality products that will be able to enter the AfCFTA competitive market by using the resources available in the country.
She said it is important for Tanzania to take advantage of the market of 1.4 billion people on the African continent with an output of 3.4 trillion US dollars considering that Tanzania is among the eight countries chosen to start benefiting from the AfCFTA and there is no obstacle.
The Confederation of Tanzania Industrialists (CTI) Executive Director, Mr Leodgar Tenga said that Tanzania joining the free trade area in Africa is a national decision and he commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan for her efforts to make the nation a part of international trade.
Mr Tenga said the responsibility of the private sector is to provide education to its members on what to do so that they can identify and use and benefit from AfCFTA opportunities.