ON December 9, 1961, at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, the United Kingdom’s Union Jack was lowered as the new flag of independent Tanganyika was hoisted, signalling the independence of the then Tanganyika territory.
Tanganyika then, under the leadership of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Sheikh Abeid Karume of Zanzibar united with the Indian Ocean Islands to form the United Republic of Tanzania on April 26, 1964, making it one of the exemplary unifications of countries in Africa.
58 years down the lane, President John Magufuli is today expected to lead Tanzanians to celebrate the independence anniversary at CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza Region. Residents of Mwanza and many others from across the country will therefore be treated with pomp and fanfare which traditionally colour the event.
This will be the second time in history for the occasion to be marked outside Dar es Salaam, the first time being in 2017 when it was marked in Dodoma, and this year will be the first time for the event to be celebrated in Mwanza region.
It should be noted as well that during the 58 years of independence, Tanzania has undergone major transformations in addressing three major challenges which were highlighted by Mwalimu Nyerere, namely poverty, diseases and ignorance.
Putting it in perspective, the Fifth Phase Government under President Magufuli, which came into power in November 2015, has undertaken massive transformations and reforms aimed at steering the country towards a middle-income economy by 2025.
Among others, high on the agenda of President Magufuli is establishment of new factories and revamping the sluggish ones which were privatised and abandoned by new owners.
This is clearly stipulated under the Second Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP II) 2016/17-2020/21 which aims at steering the country to a middle-income economy by 2025.
Dr Magufuli has always been definite on an industrialised economy which is crucial for value addition through processing of locally produced products (mainly agricultural products), creation of employment opportunities as well as transfer of technology.
During his tenure, Dr Magufuli has undertaken many development projects including revamping the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Mwalimu Nyerere Hydro Power plant, to mention but a few.
Among others, President Magufuli has directed regional authorities countrywide to ensure establishment of at least 100 micro, small, medium and large scale industrial units for every region, with available statistics indicate that a total of 1,280 industries of different sizes have been established since the directive was made to regional commissioners across the country.
Coast Region is among areas which have made significant progress in the industrialisation drive with regional authorities indicating that 83 large scale and 120 small-scale industrial plants have been established during the Fifth Phase Government.
During the campaign trail in Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, Geita, Mwanza and elsewhere countrywide, Dr Magufuli expressed concerns that many of the factories established by the late Mwalimu Nyerere had collapsed with their buildings being turned into warehouses.
Dr Magufuli cited some of the factories which had ceased production despite their potential as Kilimanjaro Machinery Tools Company (KMTC), General Tyre, the Tanzania-China Friendship Textile Mills (Urafiki) and many other garments manufacturing factories across the country.
The list also include the then flourishing Tanganyika Meat Packers Limited, National Milling Corporation, as well as coffee and cashew nut, cotton and edible oil processing plants.
Just a year after assuming office, the KMTC which is under the National Development Corporation (NDC) resumed operations through a partnership with a social security fund.
The Kilimanjaro plant is meant to become a major manufacturer of spare parts for local and export markets.
Statistics show that until the end of last year, a total of 114 industries had been registered through Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) while 64 had been listed through the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA).
The breakdown shows further that 22 new industrial units had been registered at the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) and seven under National Development Corporation (NDC).
A further 1,830 had been logged under the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO). So, a total of 2,030 industries, mostly being small industries were registered last year and the drive continues countrywide.
Findings of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s ‘Inclusive Development Index (IDI)’ showed that Tanzania was ranked top in inclusive economy in Africa due to strong implementation of various economic policies, which enabled the people to participate fully in economic activities.
The Inclusive Development Index (IDI) is an annual assessment of 103 countries’ economic performance that measures how countries perform on eleven dimensions of economic progress, in addition to GDP.