TANZANIA Investment Centre (TIC) new year parties are not a new thing. Every year the agency holds the party as a way of get together event for TIC staff and board members, and their families. Apart from winning and dining, TIC management and the board always use the event to reflect on a previous year performance and think on a year ahead. However, this year’s event was unique in its own.
TIC held the party without having Mr Emmanuel Ole Naiko at the helm of the agency’s management following his retirement mid last year and hence the party was used to say goodbye and thanking the former boss for his exemplary service at the government’s investment agency. I have used the words ‘exemplary service’ here purposely.
Mr Naiko who joined the agency in 1991 when it was called Investment Promotion Centre (IPC) rose through the ranks to become the Centre’s Executive Director in the late 2005. Because of his endeavours, Tanzania was named among the 10 top global reformers in 2006, while in 2007; the agency was rated as the Best Investment Agency in the world – After care service. In 2010 Tanzania was named among the top 10 in Green investment and Mauritius took the first position.
His star shone outside the national boundary when he was elected to become the Vice-President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) in 2008, a position he served for three years running and later acknowledged for his exceptional efforts toward contribution to the advancement of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) globally. During the party, Mr Naiko urged TIC staff to work tirelessly and more diligently to attract more domestic and foreign direct investment for the country’s development.
“I urge you to continue working hard so as to attract more investment in the country,” he told TIC staff. He called on TIC staff members to make sure that a strong cadre of entrepreneurs is built in Tanzania; for a true and sustainable development will be brought by Tanzanians themselves and not foreigners. He singled out agriculture, tourism and minerals as emerging sectors that TIC should work hard to make sure that they perform well and propel the country’s economy.
Mr Naiko expressed his concern on the minimal FDIs flows in developing countries including Tanzania, saying some efforts should be done to improve the situation. Citing the Global Investment Trade Monitor report of January this year, the renowned investment matters expert said that though FDIs increased in 2011 to various parts of the world by 17 per cent or equivalent to 1.5 trillion dollars, it was not the case for the continent of Africa.
“The FDIs coming to Africa has been declining for the past consecutive three years,” he said, adding that the TIC board in collaboration with the staff should view the situation as a challenge to seriously work on. Mr Naiko revealed that he left TIC financially sound, and with a good human resource team and requested the current management to make good use out of those virtues.
The TIC board Chairman, Ambassador Elly Mtango, showered praise on Mr Naiko, explaining him as an exemplary leader to emulate who led TIC into one of the successful government development agencies. “Your tenure was characterized with successes and we are proud of you,” Amb. Mtango said. He said members at the agency should emulate and uphold good things left by the former TIC boss for the better future of the country.
The Chairman called on TIC staff to make sure that they work hard and steer ahead the agency to make it attain its five-year corporate strategic plan that aims at widening the country’s investment base. On his part, a representative of TIC staff, Mr Castro Luhusa, said Mr Naiko represented well the institution inside and outside the nation, saying that the staff should strive to emulate him for the good of the agency.
He stressed that Mr Naiko spearheaded workers welfare and emphasized cooperation among TIC members. He explained that it is during Mr Naiko’s era that TIC in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNACTAD) started to provide high level training to Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) on various areas all geared toward making them more productive; hence their own development and the country at large.
It is an initiative which aims to promote creation of durable and mutually beneficial partnerships between (affiliates of) trans-national corporations (TNCs) and large local companies on the one hand and SMEs on the other, so as to enhance productive capacity, competitiveness and sustainability of their relationships. Another staff, Ms Fainess Sipendi, described Mr Naiko as a person who was willing to help workers in their problems.
“You were ready to offer a helping hand anytime we requested for it…we will remember you,” Ms Fainess said when shedding tears of appreciation. TIC staff loved Mr Naiko and they showed it openly that night. They danced for him and poured gifts to the former Executive Director and his family. The Agency’s Acting Executive Director, Mr Raymond Mbilinyi, said TIC has registered success in attracting investors in the country in 2011, hence positively contributing toward economic development endeavours.
He said that during the past twelve months, the government’s investment body has been able to implement the fiveyear corporate strategic plans (2008/9-2013/14) objectives given laid down by the board of directors. “The last year’s successes have been made possible by a close and good working relationship between the staff and the board of directors,” he said, adding that Mr Naiko contributed much to the successes for the first six months of 2011.
Mr Mbilinyi explained that TIC registered a total of 828 and surpass the set target of 600 or equivalent to 38 per cent increase; this was an increase of 60 per cent compared to 510 projects registered during the previous years in 2010. “We have been able to attract investment in vital sectors such as agriculture, minerals, tourism and energy,” he said. He noted that domestic investments have increased to 56 per cent in 2011 compared to 47.5 per cent in 2010.
He noted that a lot of efforts are being taken to make sure that the country’s small and middle enterprises (SMEs) are connected with the transnational companies operating in the country and that a total of 120 companies have been lined up for the purpose. He noted that in 2012, TIC plans to further implement their five-year strategic corporate plan including building staff capacity and improving working conditions and staff welfare. He showered praise to Mr Naiko for his exemplary leadership during his tenure at TIC. “Your leadership was an exemplary one,” he told Mr Naiko, adding that both TIC and the country benefited.