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Isles entrepreneurs invited to participate at AFRAP 

Isles entrepreneurs invited to participate at AFRAP 

ZANZIBAR-based entrepreneurs were on Thurday invited to participate in the just launched African Franchise Accelerator Project (AFRAP) that seeks to promote trade beyond the country's borders.

"We are here to recruit potential participants to the project; we invite all businesses with dreams to grow operationally and profitably to grab this opportunity," AFRAP Lead Consultant Wambugu Wa Gichohi said here yesterday.

He told a half-day media training on franchising that the five-year project seeks to support and nurture 90 local, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and aggregate them into 10 business brands. "...the brands will then be linked to serious investors, including equity capitalists," he said.

Dar es Salaam-headquartered Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) is the implementer of the African Development Bank (AfDB)-funded multibillion shilling project.

The country's apex private sector body will collaborate with Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) to implement the project in the islands, Mr Gichohi said, noting that training for the project participants in the isles is scheduled for next week.

He said the target is to recruit 25 companies from Zanzibar, adding that the project will among others establish firm business systems to facilitate smooth business activities and economic growth in the country.

The consultant said the project entails provision of training, seminars, conferences and franchise exhibitions as well as information dissemination and active search of partnerships with other national and international franchising associations.

The selected SME's from different parts of the country will receive training and support on how to join franchise business and sell regionally and continentally. "This will help SMEs and micro operators who have little chance of growing to become national brands and access regional and continental markets," he said.

Under the project, Mr Gichohi said the dormant Franchise Association of Tanzania (FATA), which had since its inception in 2017 remained inactive due to lack of members, will be revitalized to become the industry self-regulatory mechanism.

The franchise concept remains new in Tanzania but AFRAP will strive to identify and address the legal huddles impeding franchising business growth in the country.

The project, which is scheduled to end in January 2025, envisages creating over 30,000 and 50,000 direct and indirect jobs, respectively, according to TPSF Executive Director Francis Nanai.

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Author: MASATO MASATO in Zanzibar

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