Will Samia’s economy ingenuities  propel Tanzania to next level?

Will Samia’s economy ingenuities propel Tanzania to next level?

Reading Daily news front page 11th November 2021, titled “Samia woos Egyptian’s investors” and frontpage 12th November 2021, Samia meets top investors, incited my thoughts on what it will take Tanzania’s economy to the next level competitively, given that 60 years after independence, Tanzania continues to adore stead growth attained at an average of 3.1 per cent between 1967-1985 to an average 6.5 per cent in 2016-2020.

History reminds us that, during the first government phase under Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, the economy grew at an average 3.1 per cent compared to the second phase under Alhaj Ali Hassan Mwinyi that slightly slowed to an average of 3.0 per cent.

The third phase, under Mzee Benjamin Mkapa’s economic reforms enabled the economy to start growing at an average of 5.7 per cent and this rate steadily increased to an average of 6.3 per cent, under the leadership of Dr Jakaya Kikwete.

Some of us do not realise, but Tanzania economy under forth phase government, Dr Jakaya placed the best economic base and environment that was later appreciated by government led by Dr John Magufuli that led the economy to grow at an average of 6.5 per cent.

Of course, President Samia’s efforts, even though Tanzania is recovering from effects of Covid-19, looking at efforts she is making to promote the nation regionally and internationally including attracting investors to come and invest in Tanzania will continue to cement a foundation for a steady and faster economic growth that would take Tanzania to next level.

One of the most important reasons, President Samia is widely gaining sturdy base nationally and internationally is the way she is opening the country to the region and to the world following austerities steps taken to build our economy that led to attain lower-level middle income status ahead of World Bank’s projection.

In her first months in the office following the demise of her predecessor Dr JPM Samia has restored all venues that when examined in long term perspective indicates that Tanzania’s economy to the next level is going to benefit Tanzania enormously. Unquestionably, under her watch, Tanzania is overtaking its neighbouring as the country with the largest incentives to attract more investors to come to invest in Tanzania and isles to take advantages of improved business environment.

Categorically, going by BoT monthly economic record update, Tanzania economic growth is showing positive signs since general election in 2015.

The country has immensely invested in strategic infrastructure projects that have led to first quarter of 2021, recording 4.9 per cent GDP in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2020. By banking on President Samia with her remarkable economic performance recorded to date, Tanzanians are giving her support in her effort to not only re-open Tanzania to the international community but providing environment that would unlock economic activities that slowed down during covid-19 pandemic that did not spare any country.

One of Samia’s campaign catchphrases is “Kazi Iendelee” signalling her determination to build on work done by her predecessors.

These include ensuring to international investors regionally and internationally that Tanzania is the best place to invest amongst other attractions in sectors such as livestock, agriculture, real estate industry, energy, tourism and hospitality pharmaceutical, mining, manufacturing, and agro-processing, areas that president Samia articulated to her host Egyptian president Abdel Fatah El Sisi in Cairo.

When these initiatives start to bear fruits, majority of the Tanzanians population through various value chains linked or taking place in these sectors would help to spread the wealth amongst Tanzanian population. Indirectly, in my assessment Samia is setting a massive stimulus package to jump start the Tanzanian economy.

This is mostly important given the fact that economic growth is recovering from world pandemic that affected most of the economic sectors in Tanzania.

It is my believe that outcome of Samia’s approach and effort to open the economy is going to help solve the problem of unemployment at present regarded as a problem across sectors of the Tanzania’s believed to be generating high unemployment rate projected to have formed bloated and unproductive informal sector, supplied with millions of underemployed youths.

Samia’s response all along has been to create jobs by providing environment to enterprises, especially in the agro-processing sector. Even though job creation by enterprises usually takes time, her efforts, and initiatives she is creating in long term will open more opportunities for scale of large enterprises to do more.

The result in my view will be that most Tanzanian will feel economically emancipated. The Samia administration is aware of the economic conditions. On November 4th, 2021, the Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, on behalf of the government sets out 39.4tri/- budget in recurrent and development expenditure in the next 2022/2023 fiscal year.

The fact that this ambitious budget will be pegged on key priority areas among them salary increment for public servant also to be reciprocated in the private sector that had stalled for the past five years shows that her administration, not only impressed by the ambitious economic and growth plan, but also wellbeing and affairs of the workforce behind the growth.

Everyone who assesses Samia’s determination will not fail to see her overarching objective to restore growth and build a competitive economy through investment in infrastructure and creation of an enabling business environment that will attract FDIs.

Although critics cannot be missed, given each and each person as per our constitution is entitled to his or her own opinion, the plan as it is and effort, Samia is taking will be confronted with cynicism about whether she will get any of it implemented fully, given that she only has three years in office before Tanzanian return to the general poles.

I trust what she is doing so far will help to come-up with a new set of interventions that truly take Tanzania to the next level economically. The next level mean Tanzania needs a massive economic stimulus programme.

If she can muster the energy, Samia should increase spending in sectors, projects and programmes that boost the economy, will generate employment, and promote inclusive growth.

There is a need to prioritise infrastructure, labour-intensive manufacturing such as textiles and footwear, agro-processing, youth entrepreneurship projects, health, and education. Tanzania in my assessment has an exceptionally large stock of human and natural resources that are not being used optimally.

There is a huge infrastructural deficit. These range from wrecked rural roads, epileptic electricity supply, acute water shortages, crumbling public buildings, grossly underfunded public tertiary institutions and so on need to be examined considering their potential.

The gap can be closed through public works projects executed with direct labour.

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