KAGERA: KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC) Ms Fatma Mwassa has appealed for concerted efforts from all stakeholders as the region implements a seven-year Strategic Plan to reposition the area’s development.
The RC told the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa who was on a three-day working tour of Kagera region recently, that the region had charted strategies to address problems facing the region.
“Under a seven-year Strategic Plan (2023/2030) we shall be focusing on repositioning Kagera Region. All the players must work as team to attain our goals. It is unfortunate that Kagera Region has been lagging behind economically being ranked 25th among the 26 regions in Tanzania Mainland.
The regional GDP (2022) stood at 4.3tri/-, while the income per capita for citizens stood at 1,455,866/- compared to the national average of 2.6m/-. Thus, collective efforts were needed to ensure that the region moves forward,” she said.
Premier Majaliwa, who is also Kagera Regional CCM Patron, expressed dissatisfaction on the region’s dismal economic performance. The region has been positioned last for the last ten years in Tanzania Mainland.
“We (leaders) have the ability and capability to make positive changes. We must stop reminding people on their poverty status and instead show them the way forward. All leaders should work as a team in addressing various challenges,” he said.
RC Mwassa cited some of the mega projects listed for development as the 85m US dollars (approx. 20bn/-) Fish Cage Farming Project located at Bukoba DCs Rubafu Ward. Under education sector, construction of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) branch was ongoing at Itahwa/Kangabusharo villages a few kilometres from Bukoba town to cost a total of 20m/- upon its completion.
The Kagera Vocational Training College (VETA) located at Bulugo is among mega projects initiated by the late President John Magufuli who laid the foundation stone on January 18th, 2021. President Samia Suluhu Hassan launched the VETA college last year and hailed the government of China for the continued support and the long friendship between the two countries.
The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydro-electric Project (RRFHP), on the other hand, had reached 99.7 per cent performance and was expected to be launched soon.
On the mining sector, RC Mwassa said the Kabanga Nickel Mining Company had already finalised paying compensation to the affected families and will soon start production. This will greatly contribute to the region’s GDP and improve people’s livelihoods in Ngara District, while gold was abundant in Biharamulo District and TIN in Kyerwa District, she said.
“The implementation of the said projects is a milestone and will speed-up development in the region. I appeal to Kagera residents and all Tanzanians where similar projects are being implemented to grab the opportunities and boost their incomes,” she said.
Ms Mwassa explained that Kagera Region was strategically located bordering four East African Community (EAC) nations, namely Rwanda and Burundi as well as Uganda and Kenya across Lake Victoria. “This is a golden opportunity to do business and become rich,” she said.
Expounding, she said Kagera region has abundant investment opportunities including tourism along Burigi Chato National Park, minerals such as gold, nickel and the Lake Victoria fishery resources.
“Investors will be supported with proper infrastructure, adequate land for both large and medium agricultural development and reliable electricity,” said Ms Mwassa.
Private sector should grab opportunities in the tourism sector particularly in promoting domestic tourism. Lack of domestic tourism awareness is a gap and opportunity for players in the private sector to take advantage and contribute to the development of the country’s economy, she said.