PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has put a new push on industrialisation agenda, calling on ministries to have a database of industries, close follow-up of their performance and have market access in their plans.
Mama Samia directed the ministries responsible for industries and investment to work on the right course so that at the end of the day many Tanzanians can get employment, see more income to them as well as to the government.
The Minister for Industries, Mr Kitila Mkumbo and his team have been tasked to set up the database and move throughout the country to inspect old industries, the newly established ones as well as processes going on in areas set aside for putting up industries, and sort out any challenges facing the stakeholders.
“We must have a clear notion of ‘Industrialised Tanzania’ in your minds and make it clear among others. There are many industries that are being established upcountry at regional and district levels, which have been set for that purpose, but how is the coordination?
You have a duty to put in place a database for Tanzanian industries, to know which is in what place, what does it produce? what are the challenges? are they solvable? If not, what are you doing at the high levels? Go upcountry, get solutions,” President Samia directed.
She said she is against ministers, their deputies and senior officials who concentrate on Dar es Salaam – based industries, because they are used to linger in the country’s biggest city and accompanied by environmental officers, looking for mistakes or things that are not in order, and if they don’t find them, would even query why a truck had spilled diesel and strike a $5,000 penalty.
Tanzania’s Integrated Industrial Development Strategy 2025 has been adopted at a time when the nation is celebrating 50 years of independence.
Some of the MDGs are on the road to being achieved, but poverty reduction remains a major challenge and the primary national goal.
Stimulating and sustaining double digit rates of economic growth remained the route for achievement of the core objective within 15 years in line with the National Development Vision 2025.
Last year, Tanzania achieved the lower middle income status that was approved by the World Bank.
For the Minister for Investment, Mr Geoffrey Mwambe, Mama Samia ordered him and his team to see to it that the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) concept on investment in the industries operates well and solve many challenges that are in certain areas.
“EPZs that are operating have a lot of challenges. But there are EPZs that were well designed but we do not know how they go about now. The concept of EPZA was meant to have investors put in place industries to produce goods for export so that many Tanzanians can get employment and an increased income so that our economy grows. You have got to be serious,” noted the president.
There is in place Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) that is an autonomous government agency. It is responsible for steering and implementing government policy on promotion of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Tanzania.
Other functions of EPZA include the development of EPZ and SEZ infrastructure, provision of business services to EPZ and SEZ investors and issuing of EPZ and SEZ licences. The Authority functions as a One Stop Service Centre for all prospective and existing investors.
Mama Samia wants the officials to design and have in mind proper plans for market access of goods produced. Prior to production, research about market conditions, estimates how much to produce for local consumption and other for export. She said it is not right to stick only on industries and forget about markets that are vital.
She gave an example of farmers who grow maize, harvest a lot but fail to access markets, as it happened for those who were to export to Kenya but were prohibited entry at the borders (Holili and Namanga).
She said it is vital to work on the area thoroughly.