AFTER two decades of sustained growth, Tanzania reached an important milestone last year, when it formally graduated from low-income country to lower-middle-income country status.
There have been efforts across the country to come up with industrial parks to steer domestic production so as to meet market demand as well as export the excess to earn the country foreign currencies.
While the achievement is commendable, of recent we have heard of a call from the Vice President Dr Philip Mpango regarding a need to push for industrial growth due to the fact that progress was still slow.
Tanzanians should not be carried away by attaining the lower middle income status that was confirmed by the World Bank, instead should thrive to do all they can to make sure that local industries produce a lot of goods, especially after studying thoroughly about the market situation.
The VP called on the Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) to reflect on challenges facing the sector and consequently take action to find solution.
Reflection should be on the quality and quantity of goods produced, but also focuses on the much-needed goods, such as textile products, edible oil, electronics, medicinal drugs, computers and others.
It has been established that the goods that are produced by local industries in the country are still not meeting market demands and some fail to meet market standards as well, something that leads to the continuation of importing manufactured goods from abroad.
A good example that Tanzanians should look at and take action to reduce imports is that over 200bn/- was spent to import textile products in 2020. Given the fact that a lot of cotton is locally produced, there is no need why the raw material should not be used to produce textile products in the country.
It is up to the respective ministry, CTI the public and private sector to work together towards such production, ignite an increase in exports after saturating local market.
The move will swiftly take the country up further to attain middle and later high income status. Moving in such direction will reveal that the country has sustained macroeconomic stability that has supported growth, in addition to the country’s rich natural endowments and strategic geographic position.
On the other hand, Tanzanian consumers should join in the concerted efforts for industrial growth push by buying locally made products in food and other goods.
By purchasing goods that are produced locally it translates to stimulating the economy, create jobs or retain them and the country gains more revenue.
All stakeholders should take the VP’s call and start implementation of the same promptly and support should as well be directed to the country's small scale and medium enterprises by instilling in their personnel knowledge and skills, to create wealth through improved production.