Govt lists ten priorities for socio-economic prosperity

DODOMA: THE government has outlined ten priorities in the next financial year, with focus on improving production in key economic sectors, enhancing social services delivery and completion of flagship projects, which have multiplier effects on the economy and community.

Presenting the national development plan for 2024/2025, the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Planning and Investment), Professor Kitila Mkumbo said the preparation of the document considered the 3rd National Five-Year Development Plan (2021/22 – 2025/26), CCM’s 2020 Election Manifesto, and various policies and sectoral strategies.

The plan also considered other regional and international development protocols, including the East African Community (EAC) Vision 2050, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Vision 2050 and Africa’s Development Agenda 2063 and UN SDGs 2030 Agenda.

The busiest House session started with the sad news of the passing away of Tanzania’s East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) member, Dr Shogo Mlozi. Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Tulia Ackson informed the August House of the demise of the country’s representative in the regional legislative body, saying more news would be shared later.

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Then, the newly-elected Kwahani MP Khamis Mussa (CCM) took the oath of office after winning a by-election held on June 8, this year.

The by-election followed the death of Ahmada Yahya Shaa, who passed away on April 8th this year, when attending Bunge sessions.

Following the Questions to Prime Minister Session and the regular question and answer session, Prof Mkumbo got the budget proceedings underway by presenting an overview of the state of the economy and outlining national development plans for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Planning and Investment Minister said in the next financial year, the government will invest in the development of the agricultural sector by promoting and facilitating the use of high-quality seeds, fertilisers, irrigation farming, insisting that modern agricultural tools is crucial.

“As we are aware, the industrial economy we are striving to build heavily relies on agriculture for its raw materials,” said Prof Mkumbo, noting that with many Tanzanians expected to be employed and self-employed in the agricultural sector in the short and medium term, the country cannot think of industrial revolutions without addressing agricultural revolutions.

Prof Mkumbo said the focus will also be on establishing and implementing a strategy to stimulate investment in industries, aimed at producing goods that will make the country self-sufficient in essential products and boost exports of value-added products abroad.

“The government will continue to improve the business and investment environment to promote the growth of the private sector, particularly by creating specific conditions to promote and strengthen small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he stated.

The minister mentioned another priority as protecting and sustainably managing the national resources, including gas, minerals, forests, ports and lakes.

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“The government will ensure that our country reduces and ultimately stops exporting raw resources extracted from the land, forests and waters of Tanzania, but instead establishes policy and legal frameworks that ensure these resources are processed and value-added domestically before being exported out of the country,” stressed Prof Mkumbo.

He said the government recognises the role of minerals in continuing to increase the volume of the country’s exports and the importance of strategic mineral resources (SMRs) in achieving the world’s goal of producing clean and safe energy for the environment, hence, it will create specific environment with the aim of attracting investors willing to build value-added mineral processing plants in the country, particularly in the construction of factories for producing car batteries and machinery.

“We’ll continue to invest in ensuring that our country has a sufficient and highquality human resource base that meets the needs of today and tomorrow’s world,” said the minister, insisting education and training will remain a top priority in national development plans in the coming financial year.

According to the plan, the government’s other priority will be in the construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and digital infrastructure in collaboration with the private sector in order to stimulate economic development.

Prof Mkumbo added: “The government will continue to enhance energy production as a crucial element in building an industrial economy, along with fully implementing a strategy for the use of clean cooking energy.” More efforts will be directed towards enhancing the availability of satisfactory social services, including healthcare, water and electricity, especially in rural areas.

Prof Mkumbo added further that since a large portion of the population lives in rural areas (65 per cent) and in promoting inclusive economic growth, the government will place special emphasis on stimulating rural development.

He listed five steps that will be taken to stimulate rural development, including investing in the construction of road and communication infrastructure in rural areas by strengthening and empowering TARURA.

“This will increase the speed and level of rural citizens using information technology in economic and social activities,” the minister asserted.

In line with that, the government will continue to implement the rural communication project and establish and implement a special plan to digitally connect rural areas (rural broadband programme), said the minister.

Prof Mkumbo said the government is also going to review the system of selling agricultural, livestock and forestry products with the aim of simplifying and enabling a conducive environment for doing business in rural areas.

“Another step is creating a conducive environment to attract the establishment of small rural industries with the aim of adding initial value (primary processing) in strategic sectors, including agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry. The government will utilise financial and tax policies to attract investors to rural areas so that agricultural, livestock, fisheries and forestry products can be semiprocessed in rural areas,” he informed the August House.

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