THE Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (Investment), Angela Kairuki has urged investors to exploit investment opportunities mostly in agriculture sector in Songwe Region for its geographical entry point to Southern Africa Development Countries (SADC), to raise the area and country’s economy.
Making the call recently in Mbozi District while opening an investors’ forum for Songwe Region, she equally asked financial institution including banks in the country to ensure that they assist small and big investors, whenever they seek their assistance to acquire funds, instead of making them despair with unnecessary bureaucracies.
The Minister noted that Songwe has several investment opportunities, which once, fully exploited would get a reliable and steady market from SADC’s 16 countries around.
“I believe that Songwe’s vast investment opportunities can be tapped by investors, hence it is time the conference help those, who attend it to strategize to do business in many areas, including agriculture that has been singled as the major one. This is because in the SADC region, agriculture has helped many to ensure their internal food,” she added.
In a related development, the Minister asked the area leaders to see into it that willing investors are specified big pieces of land in every Council, including furnishing them with good infrastructures, which are attractive and ease business.
“Ensure that you earmark specific areas for investors and well served with good infrastructures including water, electricity, roads and others, so that once an investor comes, he/she would contribute in their maintenances,” she said.
On addressing banks, she asked them to educate investors on financial matters, especially when they want banking services instead of discouraging them and segregating them on racial basis.
On his part, Songwe Regional Commissioner, (RC), Brigadier General Nicodemus Mwangela, said that they organised the forum to publicize and market different investment opportunities in their Councils to attract them and also into other parts of the country.
Commenting, NMB bank Head of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Filbert Mponzi, said that besides his bank funding the conference’s organization, already they had released 22bn/- in Songwe Region to help farmers in their agricultural production of coffee, and maize among others.
He said in this year, the bank has been opening accounts freely to help farmers especially after a heeding the Ministry of Agriculture call that all peasants should be paid their dues through bank accounts in a new system.
Mr Mponzi noted that NMB, equally has started issuing loans with considerable interests to entrepreneurs to financially empower them, adding that even small investors, who hail from the area would be taken into account.