INDUSTRY and Trade Ministry has formed seven zones, which will serve as platforms to solve challenges that haunt traders and industrialists in the country.
Industry and Trade Minister Innocent Bashungwa announced the initiative in Dar es Salaam yesterday, saying it’s part of efforts to accelerate the government spearheaded industrial drive.
“Without delay, we have created seven zones that we will serve as platforms for the government to meet the business community to deliberate and tackle some of the challenges they experience,” he said.
The zone formation comes hardly a month after President John Magufuli met businesspeople at the State House and ordered for swift measures to address problems haunting the business community.
Mr Bashungwa named the zones as central that covers Dodoma,Singida and Tabora regions; Southern for Ruvuma, Lindi and Mtwara regions; and the Northern, covering Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions.
Other zones with their regions in brackets are Eastern (Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Coast), Southern Highlands (Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya and Songwe), Western (Rukwa, Katavi and Kigoma) and Lake (Mwanza, Kagera, Mara, Geita, Simiyu and Shinyanga).
During his June 7, 2019, meeting, President Magufuli said business challenges and industrial construction impediments were almost everywhere.
He thus sampled each district to get at least five businesspeople to attend the State House gathering. “I have looked at the geography of Tanzania and seen how best to get close to all businesspeople and industrialists in the country… through these seven zones, we will work with regional and district commissioners to organise the meetings,” the minister said.
According to Mr Bashungwa, the businesspeople and industrialists will be informed in advance before the meeting to give ample time to prepare for healthy discussions and set friendly business environment in the country.
“So, I would like to assure Tanzanians, businessmen and factories owners that the government is with you and the president’s instructions to solve your challenges are being implemented… i t’s through strong private sector that our industrial economy can succeed,” he said.
The minister further pointed out that institutions under the ministry, particularly Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), will be attending the meeting to give clarifications on raised concerns.
Mr Bashungwa said the government will continue making improvements on TBS to ensure that there is enabling environment to protect local industries and their produced products instead of promoting environment that favour imports and makes difficult for domestic industries to operate.
“I have already instructed TBS that as the country we have an obligation to build an industrial economy and TBS should not limit itself to the role of controlling the product standards,” he said, challenging the standard watchdog to also help in promoting and enabling small industries to grow to medium size and ultimately become large industries.
“We want industrialisation and we have to create enabling environment for domestic industries to create raw materials for the domestic market, East Africa Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC),” he said.