CROSS-BORDER TRADE: Experts hail Samia efforts

DAR ES SALAAM: ANALYSTS have hailed government’s zeal to promote regional integration through increasing intra-regional trade and investments, saying that will boost economic growth and development.

They said President Samia Suluhu Hassan has shown good intention and strong determination of boosting the country’s economy through increasing trade and investment, economic cooperation and regional integration.

Speaking during the Africa Investment Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco on Wednesday, President Samia outlined various measures the country is taking to address the challenge of trade linkage, calling upon African continent to set up plans to address the challenge.

“My government has invested a lot in connecting the country with its neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi, among others,” she said.

President Samia said roads, railways and waterways are critical in moving goods and people across the continent and outlined Tanzania’s plan to connect East, Central and Southern Africa.

Commenting on President Samia’s proposed measures in the country’s connectivity, an economist-cum-investment banker, Dr Hildebrand Shayo said that Tanzania has been doing a great job under President Samia leadership and that the government has continued to allocate fund for infrastructure development, which in return leads to economic growth.

“I do agree with President Samia’s vision and a raft of measures Tanzania is taking to improve infrastructure because the area is an engine to economic growth,” he noted.

He said President Samia’s measures were timely as Tanzania serves as a gateway for more than five landlinked countries and that addressing infrastructure constraints will help fostering economic growth and alleviate poverty and inequality among Tanzanians.

Moreover, Dr Shayo said improvement of digital infrastructure, such as data and mobile communications, as well as the expansion of transportation networks like roads, trains and air transport, have a significant impact on driving demand for other services like trade.

According to him, it is commonly known that developing nations, allocate 200 US billion dollars per year, or four per cent of their GDP, to new infrastructure initiatives.

This makes up one-fifth of all the money the nations invest in their economies.

He said for industrial sector to perform better, there must be enough and reliable energy supply, proper operating drainage systems, telephone networks and transportation.

Similarly, Dr Shayo said that along with enhancing cell phone coverage and electricity connectivity, when combined, these would lead to higher productivity, increasing businesses and a better quality of life.

The Economist said road, rail, air and water transportation systems were the backbone of the country’s economy and that improving them means boosting businesses and ensuring economic growth.

“These networks are the backbone and essential for the movement of people and goods as well as serving as a vital link in the provision of basic social services for Tanzania and its neighbour countries,” Dr Shayo noted.

On his part, a business expert and lecturer at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania, Dr Sylvester Jotta said Tanzania is investing public resources to modernise its energy and transport infrastructure to be able to make optimal use of its strategic geographical location to unleash its economic potential.

Dr Jotta said President Samia’s goal is to ensure that the country’s economy grows through business interaction with other African countries, adding that transportation, is crucial for business in the country.

“One of the government’s jobs is to create an enabling environment so that the private sector can grow,” he said.

The Africa Investment Forum is a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform that advances projects to bankable stages, raises capital and accelerates deals to financial closure.

Its vision is to channel capital towards critical sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the African Development Bank’s High 5s and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Since it was launched in 2018, the Africa Investment Forum has mobilised nearly 143 billion US dollar in investment interest. Its centrepiece is the annual three-day Market Days event, which brings together thousands of global investors, heads of development finance institutions and business and government leaders to advance critical investment transactions to closure.

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