DAR ES SALAAM: THE Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) has attracted five prospective investors in seven Special Wildlife Investment Concession Areas (SWICA), who are expected to finance a total of 278 million US dollars (equivalent to 696bn/-) to enhance sustainable tourism.
TAWA Conservation Commissioner, Mr Mabula Nyanda said during the signing of the strategic investment contracts with the investors in Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday that the development will allow SWICA model to be used for the first time in the country.
The event was graced by Minister for Natural Resource and Tourism, Ms Angellah Kairuki, who welcomed investors from across the world to tap in to the abundant tourism opportunities available in Tanzania.
Mr Nyanda mentioned the seven concession areas as the Maswa Game Reserve (GR) North, Selous GR LLI, Grumeti GR, Ikongoro GR, Mkungunero GR, Maswa GR Kimali and Maswa GR Mbono.
SWICA is a model that allows investors to provide trophy hunting and photographic tourism services including walking safaris and bird watching within one concession area, especially targeting high-end customers, who prefer exclusive and luxurious services.
Revealing the investing companies, Mr Nyanda said three of them are foreign including the Grumeti Reserves Limited and Magellan General Trading LLC, while the other two are local companies namely the Bushman Safari Trackers Limited and Mkwawa Hunting Safaris Limited.
He said the Bushman Safari Trackers will run the Maswa GR North and the Mkwawa Hunting Safaris Limited will operate the Selous GR LL1, while the Grumeti Reserves Limited will invest in Grumeti GR and Ikorongo GR.
Moreover, in the list, Mr Nyanda said the Mwiba Holdings Limited will run the Maswa GR Mbono and Maswa GR Kimali and the Magellan General Trading LLC will operate the Mkungunero GR.
Elaborating, Mr Nyanda said the investment will generate revenue to the government estimated at 314 million US dollars (about 790bn/-) in 20 years of investment and estimated to 16 million US dollars per year (40bn/).
“The expected revenue generated per year is nine (9) times the revenues that were generated in these concession areas through trophy hunting business model,” he said.
The trophy hunting business model involves the authorised shooting of wild animals grown and selected for the purpose.
Adding “it is also our expectation that, our partners will be aggressive enough in developing and marketing these tourism areas so that visitors make them their first choice due to unforgettable tourism services that will be offered,” he pointed out.
He said the increase in revenue implies that the SWICA business model is a viable option toward reaching the optimal and sustainable utilisation of wildlife resource for economic gain.
Mr Nyanda said TAWA will ensure smooth implementation of all SWICA projects in the respective areas by collaborating all investors, hinting that the authority have prepared the monitoring and evaluation manual that will act as a tool to gauge the progress from the investment.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms Kairuki said the SWICA model will increase tourism visitation and revenues in the concession areas significantly contributing to the government target of raising the number of tourists from 1.5 million in the 2021/2022 Fiscal Year (FY) to five million coming 2025/2026.
Furthermore, she said the move aligns with target of increasing revenue from the tourism sector to 6 billion US Dollars (15tri/-) reaching the 2025/2026 FY from 2.6 billion US dollars in the 2021/2022 FY.
She said of last year, the country recorded a total of 1.7 million tourists in comparison to 1.4 million in 2022, saying the number shows stunning progress.
Mr Kairuki reminded all the targets are stipulated in the ruling CCM Party Manifesto 2020/2025 and the National Five Years Development Plan from 2021/2022 to 2025/2026 FY.
She said apart from generating revenue to the government SWICA projects will also benefit local communities surrounding the investment sites, where about 50 million US dollar (125bn) is allocated for financing community development projects in 20 years of the projects insisting that the projects will also create jobs.
Ms Kairuki attributed the iconic inking of the investment contract to the Royal Tour Film engineered by the President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, which created visibility to the country’s tourism potential including national parks and game reserves thus attracting investors and tourists.
Magellan General Trading LLC Director Mr Ahmed Warsama, a foreign investor at the Mkungunero GR said their company will initially renovate all the necessary infrastructures including accommodation at the game reserve to match with tourists’ requirements.
Also, he said the focus will be on preventing anti-poaching for sustainability of the reserve which is critical for development of the tourism sector.