Why electronic investment window crucial for economy

THE government is attracting domestic and foreign investors in agriculture and agribusiness to take advantage of its huge potential, the Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji has said as an electronic investment window is being finalised.

At the opening of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) meeting in Dar es Salaam, yesterday she said that the government had introduced cluster farming for the youth dubbed ‘Build a Better Tomorrow’ (BBT), which requires significant investment in mechanisation and digital platforms.

“We welcome you to take advantage of the investment opportunities from the Agenda 10/30 that seeks to promote agribusiness and increase agriculture sector growth to 10 per cent by 2030,” said the minister at  International Finance Corporation (IFC) meeting that brought together partners from the private sector, government, and other stakeholders to promote increased investment in Tanzania.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Director of Investment in the ministry, Aristides Mbwasi, the minister said the government was also targeting to undertake large-scale commercial farming of crops such as sugarcane, wheat, sunflower, grapes, maize and horticulture as well as deep sea fishing, aquaculture and ranching.

“With a great potential for Tanzania to become the food basket of the region and beyond, we are inviting investors to establish agro-processing industries and food innovation hubs,” said the minister.

Agriculture is the key sector of Tanzania’s economy, in terms of its contribution to GDP, employment and foreign earnings.

The sector contributes 26.1 per cent of the economy and employs about 65 per cent of total labour force in Tanzania.

It is as well the main source of food and raw materials for industries.

Dr Kijaji said the government was in final stages to launch an inclusive Tanzania Electronic Investment Window (TEIW) that will integrate service platforms from relevant government institutions facilitating investment.

The window would, among other things, simplify application and issuance of investment permits and provide system integration with the respective participating government institutions, she said.

TEIW will provide online real-time feedback to investors and serve as a secure centralised electronic repository for Investment Statistics.

The window is expected to lead to increased transparency because the investors’ applications would be visible and easy to track their real-time progress, she said.

The minister said the window would also reduce processing of investment applications and issuance of related permits and allow information reusability because common investor’s information can be filled once and be re-used by all participating government institutions.

IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu said in her remarks the main objective of the meeting that brought together partners from the private sector, government, and other stakeholders was to promote increased investments in Tanzania.

She said IFC aims to foster robust and inclusive economic growth by working with the private and public sector to create jobs and opportunities.

“We hope this meeting will help to unlock new partnerships that will promote investments…We are looking forward to strengthening partnership between the public and the private sector to increase investments in Tanzania,” said Mrs Jagun-Dokunmu who led several senior members of IFC Africa’s leadership team representing the infrastructure, agribusiness and financial industry sectors at the event.

She said IFC was focused to foster public and private partnership to increase investment in the agriculture sector as it plays important role in growth of the economy and development.

“Agriculture and agribusiness represent the largest most important sector in Tanzania. Sixty-five per cent of Tanzania’s labour force works in agriculture. We strongly believe this is an opportunity to support the country’s existing farmers to grow and to inspire a new generation of food producers,” she said.

She said Tanzania had made great strides in digital financial services growth and IFC would focus to promote public private partnership to boost investments in the sub-sector.

“Tanzania is a dynamic market for digital financial services growth. Investments in the country’s digital ecosystem will help unlock new ways to connect people and businesses,” she said.

“The event will showcase the opportunities for investment with a focus on agribusiness, digital development including fintech and public private partnerships around infrastructure.”

IFC has invested more than $300 million in Tanzania since 2015 to support agriculture, light manufacturing, small business lending and infrastructure among others.

Most recently, it invested in NMB’s gender bond, the first in sub-Saharan Africa, and partnered with CRDB to expand access to finance for small businesses.

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