ECONOMIC GROWTH: Tanzania explores diaspora role

UK, London: TANZANIA has committed to scaling up the UK and Ireland Diaspora’s participation in trade and tourism by enabling them to tap all potential opportunities at home and overseas.

The move comes as statistics show that the trade volume between the UK and Tanzania is still low in comparison to the neighbouring countries including Kenya and Uganda.

Tanzanian High Commissioner to UK, Mr Mbelwa Kairuki expressed commitment recently in a virtual meeting with diaspora, attributing the move to the country’s commitment to enhance economic diplomacy so as to boost trade volume with other countries worldwide.

Mr Kairuki said as of last year, Tanzanians exports to UK stood at 49 million pounds (about 157bn/-) behind neighbouring countries including Uganda whose exports stood at 89 million pound (about 285bn/-) and Kenya over 660 million pounds (about 2.1 tri/-), saying the data necessitate a new approach to scale up trade.

He said Tanzania targets to increase exports to 150 million pounds (about 480bn/-) by 2025 and 1 billion pound (about 3.2 tri/-) come 2030 as the sixth-phase government maximises diaspora participation in business abroad including the UK.

According to the High Commissioner, Tanzania has about 300,000 Diasporas in UK.

“We will cooperate with Tanzania diaspora across the world. Everyone has chance to make our targets a reality, be it on tourism, trade or educational development,” Mr Kairuki said.

He said the UK has great trade potential considering the fact that it is the sixth largest economy in the world.

Furthermore, Mr Kairuki said the UK has included Tanzania in its Developing Countries Trading Scheme involving 65 countries, an arrangement that offers lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for exporting to the UK.

Therefore, he urged the Diaspora to identify markets in the UK for goods available in Tanzania for the objective of benefitting from non-tariff incentives, an arrangement that is crucial for trade and economic growth.

“We are ready to cooperate with anyone who will secure markets here in the UK for local goods. Diaspora who will secure markets will be connected to financial institutions,” Mr Kairuki said.

He said he had already negotiated with the CRDB and NMB banks on the best way to finance diaspora’s trade in the UK.

The envoy added that the government understands that profitable exports rely on high production with minimal taxation saying the government has been undertaking the desirable intervention to spur production.

The economic diplomacy that implies use of bilateral relations for citizens and the country’s prosperity has been much emphasised by President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan as part of her 4Rs-reform, rebuilding, resilience and reconciliation philosophy (4R).

The diplomat said Tanzania targets on taping UK’s tourism booming markets.  As of last year, about 71 million people travelled outside the country spending about 58 billion pounds (186tri/-).

Mr Kairuki said of the visitors only 60,116 people came to Tanzania, equivalent to 0.08 per cent of all travels, necessitating the High Commission’s collaboration with diaspora to promote Tanzania’s tourist attractions in UK and Ireland as well.

He said the Tanzania High Commission in UK was establishing a special tourism desk apart from organising different tourism workshops for the sake of creating visibility of northern, southern and northern tourism circuits.

Mr Kairuki said Tanzania targets to attract 200,000 tourists from UK come 2027.

Hinting on job opportunities in the UK, Mr Kairuki said that the country possesses a stable employment market for health service providers including unskilled caregivers, saying at least 14 per cent of health employers are foreigners in a total of 1.3 million employees in the sector.

However, he revealed that still few Tanzanians serve as health employees in the UK as South Africans, Zimbabweans and Kenyans still have good numbers.

To fix the gap, he said the government will address hurdles pertaining to many Tanzanians’ failure during recruitment interviews and English test as well as lack of access to information on jobs   for them to penetrate the market, hinting that the target is to create 500 jobs in three years to come.

Additionally, Mr Kairuki said the country’s High commission in UK has good network with many universities including the University of Edinburg for Tanzania’s students to obtain scholarships in the areas of research, health science programme and other high skills demanding discipline such as software engineering.

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