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Right financing strategy needed to harness blue economy

WHILE Tanzania is amongst four eastern African nations whose economies are anticipated to grow as the region is anticipated to go into downturn, prompted by covid-19 pandemic, in my opinion Tanzania’s stance has been stimulated by good administration on prices, sensible fiscal and monetary stimulus package taken and above all, processes taken to upkeep companies.

Conferring to the UN economic commission for Africa (ECA), unlike the rest economic group in the region, East African Community is the single regional economic grouping expected to grow by 1 per cent while the rest of the group like IGAD, SADC and Ecowas is expected to enter recession.

While many other nations announced measures such as restriction and curfew, Tanzania led by Dr JPM, decided for a stress-free method that endorsed economic activities to remain open that describes the rank made contrast to countries that fall over copy and paste set-up measures.

Tanzania, outcrop to grow its economy as panic of recession emerge across region will in my opinion be realised ahead of others within the EAC economic region bearing in mind the two Presidents Dr JPM and Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi intent to have in place appropriate infrastructure to aid exploitation of blue economy potential, that has stayed idle profoundly in the last few decades.

Tanzania, like many other countries in Africa has depended mainly on the blue economy for the provision of jobs, medicine and food, highlighting the critical need to use and protect marine resource for current and future generation to come.

It therefore suggests, the importance of the blue economy to Tanzania or any other east Africa nation that is blessed to possess the resource to be used to aid and boost its economy.

Being a major asset to a nation and a major investment in the national development, as it has been realised by Dr JPM in his outlook, and Dr Hussein Mwinyi in his vision to create new Zanzibar, the blue economy backed resource plays a special role in the productivity and growth of a nation, therefore, right time to put in place instrument that will see our nation gaining this untapped potential for growth our economy.

Although Africa’s water and marine spaces are an increasingly common subject of political speech; its natural resources in my opinion have persisted largely underexploited but are now being acknowledged for their would-be contribution to all-encompassing and sustainable development.

What many don’t recognise is that blue world is more than just an economic space. In Tanzania, it is part of its strategic rich physical, social, and cultural canvas.

Thus, through an enhanced understanding of the colossal opportunities emerging from investing and reinvesting in Tanzania’s aquatic and marine spaces, the balance can be angled away from illegal harvesting, degradation, and depletion practices to a sustainable resource development paradigm, serving Tanzania today and tomorrow.

If wholly exploited and well-managed, Tanzania’s blue economy can create a major source of wealth and catapult the country’s fortunes. Tanzania’s economy based on bank of Tanzania monthly economic reviews reports continues to grow at notable rates, comprising through the exploitation of the rich endowment of land-based natural resources and commodity exports.

Converting this growth into quality growth, through the generation of inclusive wealth, within environmental limits and valuing the highest social considerations, requires courageous new thinking to see blue economy beyond just fishing.

In my view, components of blue economy that as nation needs to be aware and there are numerous economic activities, including two areas, one related industry or sector and the type of activities that might appeal to the investment, both from public, but more private sectors for its realisation.

Hence, there is a need to view blue economy in a bigger picture over and above just fishing vessels to include capturing fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing. View blue economy i.e. marine biotechnology that involves pharmaceutical, chemicals, seaweed harvesting, seaweed products and marine derived bio-products.

What’s more, view blue economy with respect to offshore wind energy production, wave energy production and tidal energy production that may also include boat manufacturing, sail making, net manufacturing, boat and ship manufacturing and repairing, marine instrumentation, aquaculture technology, water construction with the marine industrial engineering. Furthermore, blue economy to encompass port operations, ship building and repairing, ship owners and operators, shipping agents and brokers, ship management, liner and port agents, port companies, ship suppliers, container shipping services, stevedores, rollon roll-off operators, customer clearance, freight forwarders, safety and training.

Marine commerce to include financial services, marine legal services, marine insurance, ship finance and related services, charters, fishing gears, media and publishing. Likewise marine ICT to include marine engineering consultancies, meteorological consultancy, environmental consultancies, hydro-survey constancy, project management consultancy, ICT solution, geo-informatics services, yacht designs and submarine telecom.

Also blue economy to mean education and research for education and training and research and development and marine tourism involving sea angling from boats, sea angling from the shore, sailing at sea, boating at sea, jet skiing, surfing, sailing boarding, diving, swimming in the sea, bird watching in coastal area, visiting coastal natural reserves including beaches, seaside and islands.

A small but growing number of international public financing and other innovative instruments are emerging to finance investments in nascent and new sectors, but many challenges remains in scaling up finance and attracting investment in a wider range of blue growth sectors.

A reinforced enabling setting to attract investment, enhanced information sharing to leverage blue investment, in my opinion is needed to give Tanzania an upper hand of blue economy potential beyond taking out fish i.e. tuna etc.

Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi lately, while inducting 10th meeting of the House of Representative at Chukwani, in Zanzibar, echoed his aspiration to build among other things new Zanzibar through what could be termed an up-to-date blue economy centring on commercial fishing industry.

As valuable as it is, for a long time, the blue economy is being muddled up in Tanzania as the resource suffers major challenges including lack of proper marine policy that are critical for exploiting such valuable untapped resource.

My contribution centres on the potentialities of Tanzania’s blue economy and activities related to it with particular emphasis on deep sea fishing and other marine based activities and deliberately, discussion laboured here will not deal with oil and gas sector although it forms part of blue economy.

Since intention to exploit sea based resources isn’t new to Tanzania, views expressed here intends to achieve the following; identifying what has been major challenges of the blue economy in Tanzania, to identify some benefits that are overlooked and determine and make effective commendations that would help to remind us where we need to tip toe as both in Isles and mainland, forceful aim at exploiting the blue economy.

Much as blue economy may sound to be a straight forward stuff for our leaders, acquiring deep sea fishing vessels will not be sufficient to exploit untapped potential in the sector. There is a need as a nation to be aware of what we need to put in place in terms of understanding and prioritising to help us reach the full potentials of the blue economy.

The potential to cultivate the blue economy in Tanzania and for that matter Zanzibar if well understood will benefit us in adding to national fiscals. The focus so far, has been to stare at the untapped potential within blue economy value chain and uncover areas that if developed could generate, not only job opportunities for Tanzanian masses, but income and tax revenue, that together would help the blue economy to be a catalyst for Tanzania’s prosperity and fortune.

It is time for Tanzania to articulate blue economy strategies earnestly to aid branch out economic base and catalyse socio-economic transformation desired as middle income nation. If wholly exploited, well financed and well-managed, Tanzania’s Blue Economy can constitute a major source of wealth and catapult the Tanzanian’s prosperities.

IN the coming week, we forecast that Dar ...

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Author: HILDERBRAND SHAYO

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