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Tanzania: Industries Set to Propel Growth

Thursday, June 02, 2016 > 12:16:42

(All Africa By Abduel Elinaza)

President John Magufuli wants the manufacturing sector to control a lion's share of workable population and contribution to the economy in the next four years.

He said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that his government is rallying behind the manufacturing sector and want its share of employment to the society to reach 40 per cent from current 7.3 per cent - while its contribution to GDP reaching 15 per cent by 2020.

"We (at government level) will do whatever within our power to support the sector development and growth... as the nation cannot flourish without industries. "CTI (Confederation of Tanzania Industries) should act as catalyst and ambassador for the sector growth.

We have formed a special regulatory reference committee to work out and advise us on how best to follow up industrial development," Dr Magufuli said.

The president was speaking at the CTI President's Manufacturer of the Year Awards (PMAYA) 2015 in the city where TBL scooped an overall best manufacture of the year while Kioo Limited was first runner-up. Alaf Limited emerged second runner-up.

He explained how keen the government wants to develop the sector to be the leading one in revenue collection, employment, job creation and GDP contribution.

To achieve this, the president directed the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, to make sure taxes on local made products are reduced considerably.

"The good thing is that the Minister for Trade is here, please make sure taxes on local produced goods are very low to enable them compete and flourish," Dr Magufuli remarked amid cheers from manufacturers.

He further told his audience that the government would make sure infrastructure and energy bottlenecks are addressed in the shortest possible period as they slowed the speed of doing business and chocking profitability.

"I want a win-win situation in which the government gets its taxes, industrial profits, jobs and agro-markets... this is possible if we would work together," Dr Magufuli stressed.

He said that he wants Tanzanians to be given priority in every aspect and assisted to become industrialists. He warned that whoever in the government would go against this move will be fired.

Earlier, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, told industrialists that the second master plan for industrial development seeks to add value to the country's agroproduce.

"We will start with leather and cotton; from weaving to garment, sunflower oil and legume-related seeds... this way we'll help farmers to access a ready market," Mr Mwijage pointed out.

The CTI Chairman, Dr Samwel Nyantahe, told the president that the sector growth was dwarfed by a lengthy wave of overlapping taxes and regulatory authorities.

"We have started to see some improvement; but challenges on infrastructure, high energy costs and poor quality of electricity still hinder our growth," he stressed.

The Executive Director of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Mr Godfrey Simbeye, said the president was sincerely committed to developing the sector and building a strong bondage between the government and industrialists.

"Another good aspect is the fact that the president wants Tanzania to be an industrial nation; this is a very important gesture as he want us to own the economy," Mr Simbeye told the 'Daily News'.

Tanzania National Business Council Executive Director Engineer Raymond Mbilinyi said the president has shown heavy commitment on the industrial growth, which itself was a big boost to the sector.

"The president's assurance... of having a sound infrastructure (roads and railways) system, good industrial environment and, most importantly, correcting soft policy on industries, will make the sector leap forward," Mr Mbilinyi told this reporter.

Bank M Chief Executive Officer (designate) Jacqueline Woiso said the bank will continue with its commitment to support the development of the sector. "We will make sure that we lend the sector at very affordable rate... and they know that. We will also increase our lending," Ms Woiso said.

Bank M was the largest sponsor of the event. Tanzania has some 20,000 industries - large and medium scale - and the number is envisaged to grow further should the government address some of the bottlenecks hindering the sector's growth.

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