DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA will completely end sugar deficit and begin exporting the surplus from next year, President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan declared on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Head of State affirmed that the country will from next year put to an end the challenge of shortage of power.
“I think next year we will completely end sugar deficit in the country and we will start exporting the product,” Dr Samia stated in Dar es Salaam during the 17th President’s Manufacturer of the Year Award (PMAYA).
PMAYA, organised by the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), is usually graced by the President in her capacity as CTI Patron.
About cooking oil, she said in the past two years the country experienced a serious shortage, but this year enough edible seeds have been produced and processed which puts the country in better chances to address the deficit next year.
She further said that from next year two turbines at the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHP) will be switched on, expressing hopes that by mid-next year complaints about power shortage will be addressed.
The awards, which were first presented to the winners in 2005, aim to recognise the pertinent role of the industrial sector’s contribution to the national economy.
The awards also target raising the standard of business practices and promoting sound corporate governance, acknowledging and taking stock of technological advancements in the industrial sector, enhancing competitiveness in the industrial sector, and promoting exports of industrial products and services.
She said generally the country has been doing better in the industrial sector compared to other countries.
However, she said, there was a need for the government and players to come together to address unfolding challenges.
At this juncture, she directed the Minister responsible for Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, to be closer to manufacturers as they have many challenges that need immediate solutions.
She said efforts should be made to ensure that raw materials for industries are sourced from within the country.
“When we have many industries with linkage with local raw materials we will reduce importing raw materials,” she said.
Reacting to concerns from manufacturers about the dollar shortage, she said: “Let me give you comfort that despite challenges Tanzania is far better in the region, we have increased the provision of dollars per person in a day from 500,000/- to the current 2m/-.”
“We are taking measures to reduce dollar exportation while increasing dollar importation such as through increasing agricultural production and exports,” she stated.
She also urged the manufacturers to contribute their opinions to the new development vision.
She further said the government is opening up the country whereby many foreign investors come in, hence the local investors should utilise such opportunity by entering into joint ventures.
Earlier, Mr Leodegar Tenga, Executive Director of the CTI, underscored the significance of the event, saying it intends to recognise the vital contribution of industries and enhance competitiveness both domestically and internationally.
Mr Tenga highlighted criteria used to select and identify the best manufacturers including efficiency, foreign exchange earnings and investment in modern technology.
Additionally, factors such as employee safety, corporate social responsibility and gender representation in leadership were essential criteria.
He said that this year’s assessment was carried out by a Tanzanian company called Audax International.
CTI Chairman, Mr Paul Makanza, expressed gratitude to President Samia for attending the ceremony, stating that her presence underscored her unwavering commitment to advancing the nation’s industrial economy.
He acknowledged the President’s passion for ensuring the industrial sector takes a leading role in economic growth and national development.
He also mentioned challenges such as power shortages, with the cost of running factories on generators being significantly higher than utilising grid electricity.
Mr Makanza blamed the dollar shortage on external factors such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and U.S. foreign policies affecting Tanzania’s exports.
Despite these challenges, he emphasised that increasing production and sales within Tanzanian industries remains a feasible solution.
Makanza urged the government to address the three major challenges faced by industries, which are unreliable power supply, sufficient foreign exchange availability and the high cost of Electronic Tax Stamps (ETS).