TANZANIA envisions becoming an industrial and middle-income economy that stimulates employment and sustainable social welfare by 2025.
According to the World Bank (WB), middle-income economies are defined as lower middle-income economies (those countries with a gross national income (GNI) per capita between $1,006 and $3,955 and upper middle-income economies (those countries with a GNI per capita between $3,956 and $12,235).
This is according to WB’s 2018 data. So, in six years, Tanzania envisions becoming one of the countries, which according to the WB, represent about one third of global GDP and major engines of global growth. So far, the country is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, thanks to ongoing reforms in various sectors of the economy.
The government continues inviting investors to come and invest in various sectors of the economy in a win-win situation and it continues creating an enabling investment environment.
In particular, the government has been inviting local and foreign investors to set up manufacturing and processing industries with a view to exporting finished products and not raw materials as we have been doing throughout the years.
As the country is endowed with plenty of natural resources, what is needed is to have good plans and manage well our resources so that we don’t turn our country into a resource curse or the paradox of plenty.
We have been doing well since President John Magufuli came to power in 2015 to avoid the resource curse or the paradox of plenty and we have to keep it up.
By now, we have the courage to say that 3,504 industries (2,500 small, 943 medium and 10 large-scale industries) have been set up in various parts of the country.
These industries have also created new jobs to the unemployed youth. Other people are engaged in various income generating activities, which we also see them flourishing, especially in urban areas, where there is more demand for commodities and services given an influx of people flocking to these areas in search of greener pastures.
Rain-fed agriculture is now considered unproductive due to unreliable rains and low crop yield.
But because agriculture employs at least 75 per cent of the workforce, the government has been encouraging farmers to engage in irrigation farming by which they are sure of harvesting their crops throughout the year.
This, of course, is an area, which needs adequate investment. With sustained irrigation farming, industries will have enough raw materials, which in turn will keep pace with industrial production.
Given what has been done in the country, the 2017 economic outlook shows that the industrial sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP stood at 5.5 per cent compared to 2016’s 4.9 per cent.
If all goes well, we see a new Tanzania emerging, but it is we, who have to sustain it through our productive work in whatever sector of economy we are in, for ours is an inclusive economy.