Exploration and extraction of gas and oil (file photo).
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said that government’s decision to host the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) in Tanzania was part of a wider strategic drive to improve the country’s investment climate and demonstrate it is open for business.
“By hosting a Pan-African organization and leading by example in investment climate reform, we could demonstrate our commitment to improving regional collaboration and as a member of SADC and the EAC, we felt strongly that building this outward-looking stance was important to our future competitiveness,” he said on Wednesday during the launch of ICF Completion Report in Dar es Salaam.
The premier said the ICF programmes were demand-led and they involved a public-private partnership approach to projects.
“Projects are identified and launched upon government request and invitation, with high-level political support and local ownership… it is the only way to ensure that results are achieved and can be sustained,” he added.
Due to ICF presence in the country, the Premier said, Tanzania found the experience being useful in building her understanding of the private sector.
“Over the past nine years, the depth of collaboration between the public and private sectors has increased significantly, even in programmes which are not connected to ICF, which just shows the catalytic impact of this approach,” he said.
For instance, the Premier said, ICF has been working with the Government of Tanzania on a pilot project to build the capacity of SMEs so that they can move from the informal to the formal economy.
“There are 500 entrepreneurs who received training and mentorship jointly funded by the Government of Tanzania, ICF and the Eastern and Southern African Universities Research Programme.
It specifically focused on entrepreneurs operating in the fisheries industry, retail trade and wholesale services in both Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. The project was designed to build the capacity of these entrepreneurs in order for them to operate more efficiently,” he added.
“Through training and mentoring, the entrepreneurs were equipped with skills that would allow them to register their business, formalize operations, grow their business and manage record-keeping and accounting.
In this way, they could finally graduate from the informal to the formal sector and start to build their businesses as they had always wanted to.
He urged other government officials and other peers across the continent to ask themselves what more can they do to accelerate and scale up the ICF important work so that they can continue to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across Africa.
Earlier on, former Tanzanian President and ICF Co-Chair and Chair for International Relations, Hon Benjamin Mkapa told the participants that there’s a need for people to change their attitude towards the private sector. “We need to appreciate the role of the private sector because they have the legitimacy to participate in economic development of our countries.”
He urged the officials in various countries that ICF had been operating to take time and study their models as a way of quickening economic growth.
“We have enough models in ICT, Infrastructure, improvements in customs administration, land management and the judicial systems. The challenge is yours, take them and use it to further development. We have talked a lot into independence, we can’t keep on talking into growth,” he said.