Huge financial boost for Dar startups

TANZANIA is among African countries set to benefit from funds amounting to 100 million US dollars (about 230bn/-) to be disbursed by the government of Japan starting March next year.

The fund is aimed at boosting investment for start-ups in the continent.

The revelation was made by the Chairperson of Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), Mr Mutsuo Iwai, during a meeting with Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in Tokyo, Japan.

“By December this year we will launch a company to oversee the investment fund which is beneficial to the African continent and its implementation will start in March, next year.

“We expect to dish out 100 million US dollars by March 2024 to start-ups owned by young people to enable them enter into partnerships, learn new technologies and share experience,” he explained.

Mr Iwai said the investment funding to the start-ups is aimed at addressing social challenges facing the continent in health, agriculture and energy as well as strengthening of environment conservation.

Disbursement of the funds is part of implementation of a pledge made on August 27, this year, by the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Fumio Kishida, during the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) which was held in Tunis, Tunisia.

During the meeting, Mr Kishida said the government of Japan is committed to supporting investment in the African continent, noting that the focus will be on start-ups to enable African youths to work closely with their Japanese counterparts.

Keizai Doyukai is an association of Japanese professional independent leading executives with about 1,500 members which was founded in 1948.

The group engages in advocacy on public policy issues related to the development of the Japanese economy in both a domestic and global context.

During his visit in the East Asian country, Mr Majaliwa also met with representatives of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) including the Chairman of its committee for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Hajime Kawamura.

Mr Kawamura informed the Tanzanian Premier how the business federation is working on various projects in Sub-Saharan Africa in sectors such as water, roads, energy, communication as well as manufacturing of chemicals and purchase of farm produce.

Representatives of the committee are drawn from companies such as Sumitomo, Marubeni, Toshiba, Komatsu and Mitsubishi.

They informed PM Majaliwa on their desire to invest in energy projects including generation of power through geothermal sources, transmission of electricity and distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and provision of services in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The Japan Business Federation is a comprehensive economic organization established in the year 1946. At present, its membership comprises 1,494 representative companies of Japan, 108 nationwide industrial associations and the regional economic organizations for all 47 prefectures.

Mr Majaliwa informed representatives of the two Japanese business communities that the Tanzanian government is ready and committed to work with investors and that is why it has put in place enabling environment for essential services.

“The political will by President Samia Suluhu Hassan as well as peace and tranquility coupled with favourable weather conditions and availability of ports, railways, roads in addition to electricity and water guarantee investors of returns on their investments,” he assured them.

The PM also wooed Japanese investors in the tourism sector in Tanzania including investment in five-star hotels and water sports in beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

“You could also consider investments in plantation farming and setting up of manufacturing industries. The objective of our government is to boost the economy through various sectors including industries,” he told the Japanese business community.

Mr Majaliwa also met with the President of Japan Firefighters Association (JFA), Commissioner Toshifumi Akimoto, in which they discussed the possibility of the institution providing training for members of the Tanzanian firefighting and rescue department.

All these meetings were attended by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Mbarouk Nassoro Mbarouk and the Ambassador of Tanzania in Japan, Mr Baraka Luvanda.

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