The kind of investors  Tanzania now needs

The kind of investors Tanzania now needs

TANZANIAN business persons had an opportunity to get yet another eye opener in Turkey after attending a two day Turkey-Africa Economic Business Forum (TAEBF) at Istanbul Convention Centre (ICC), from October 21 to 22, 2021. Indeed, some had an opportunity to open new ventures and explore new ways of doing business.

And during the meeting, Tanzania strongly sounded its intention to engage serious investment partners in industrialisation agenda, strictly seeking to add value to the country’s endowed raw materials.

Minister for Industry and Trade Prof Kitila Mkumbo insisted that Tanzania and Africa at large, must strive to attract serious investors in value addition and manufacturing, other than engaging traders of African raw materials. Pr Kitila sees Turkey as a serious player in doing business with Tanzania and industrialise Africa.

“We’ve had good discussions with companies that are looking forward in setting up serious industries in Africa. We want companies that will help add value to Africa raw materials…we want to see African juice sell here in Turkey,” he said.

“We welcome, Turkey and other countries that are here, to consider Tanzania as a serious investment destination in a number of areas such as agroprocessing, health care, energy, mining, and tourism,” said.

After the forum, Tanzanian business persons requested the government to support them in promoting both inward and outward investments, saying the move will provide rewards to the country that is rich in raw materials.

They argued that Tanzanians are capable of putting up investment ventures outside the country, where they will capitalise in available raw materials in Tanzania to produce and supply various products.

The Chairman of Amimza Coffee Products of Tanzania, Mr Amir Esmail, said time has come for more Tanzanian business people to get access to invest outside the country, especially in Europe. Mr Esmail said Tanzanian business people are capable of investing in Turkey, including in coffee products from Tanzania, without distorting its originality.

“When we come to attend forums of this nature, it is equally important for the government to seek opportunities for outward investments, to enable Tanzanians invest abroad … it can be done,” he said.

He specifically said his company which started way back in 1994, the time when it was selling green beans before venturing into producing premium instant coffee, was capable of setting up ventures in Turkey.

“In 2015 our new instant coffee factory was completed, and today, it is the largest instant coffee plant in East and Central Africa… we want to extend our wings to Europe, starting with Turkey.

I would wish to get a warehouse here because Turkey is advanced in areas of technology. They have machines and spare parts, we can bring our products here and process them from here,” he told the minister.

He added; “Tell them to help Tanzanians to get access to invest in Turkey. We are capable of investing here by producing Tanzania instant coffee, labelled as Tanzanian brand,” Esmail said.

Another entrepreneur Kenneth Woiso, who is the Managing Director of Woiso Original Products Company, said that attending the forum was yet another eye opener for him.

“We’ve learnt pretty a good lesson here, we have secured several deals with Turkish business people and those from other nations,” he said.

He suggested that the government must throw its weight to support Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), for it to effectively function and help entrepreneurs produce quality products. He said some products made in Tanzania are poorly finished hence fail to attract buyers.

Woiso was among 100 business persons from Tanzania, who were supported by CRDB Bank in collaboration with Go Extra Mile Safaris to attend the forum.

He opened up on his success story, saying his company has managed to add value in leather products, by producing quality shoes and other products for imports and exports. Rehema Mwanisongola, importer and exporter of agricultural equipment said she has made several deals to expend her business.

She lauded the government, CRDB Banka and Go Extra Mile Safaris for massive support.

“Tanzanian entrepreneurs are making good strides and in fact, we are here to seek partnership with Turkish business people, who have advanced in technology, skills and scope of the market. Our objective is keep growing. We have leant new ideas and on new technologies and this will significantly help our businesses to grow,” she said.

President of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Paul Koyi called upon the business persons to make good use of the opportunities and lessons gained from their counterparts in Turkey, who are advanced, especially in technology for them to grow their businesses.

“I hope that you have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn and create network, so that when you return home, the business you run will go extra mile,” he said, adding that the chamber was committed to continue helping business person to negotiate deals.

“Make good use of the lessons you have gained here to secure good deals. For instance, we have negotiated the deal on behalf of Amimiza products that can now be supplied to one of a supermarket chain here in Turkey which owns a total of 66 stores. He insisted that in any business negotiations, the Tanzanian business people must defend their interests and defend the interests of the country.

“Do not say yes to something that you haven’t understood clearly. If you sign a deal without a clear understanding and then the next day you come and say you did not understand, your integrity of doing business will certainly be undermined,” he said, while urging business community to work closely with TCCIA.

“We must keep working closely with TCCIA to grow our businesses. In doing business you must be serious and honest. We at TCCIA will continue supporting you and ensure our business is result oriented and our business people keep graduating,” he concluded.

Minister Mkumbo took the opportunity to laud the CRDB’s initiative, showering praise to the lender, for supporting at least 100 business people to attend the forum, saying the safari came at the opportune moment. CRDB’s Head of Business Banking, Toyi Ruvumbagu, said that the lender continued to show its readiness to support the industrial and commercial sector and this trip is of great benefit to businesses and the country as a whole.

“The safari apart from continuing to strengthen trade ties between our two countries is also of great benefit to our traders who in addition to attending trade fairs have also had the opportunity to visit various factories in Turkey,” he said.

The CRDB provided a soft and friendly loan to the traders to enable them to participate in the forum without affecting the business cash flow.

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