The industrial and manufacturing sectors are getting increasingly attractive by the year, which delivers value to investors and creates a better quality of life for Tanzanians.
Tanzania’s path towards becoming a middle-income country by 2025 relies on the development of its industries, as well as its capacity to attract new investors and companies, providing them with all the tools necessary to operate and flourish, thus unlocking the full potential of the country.
The industrialisation agenda brought forward by the government has already started to pay off: large industrial establishments have almost redoubled since 2008, and in 2016 the growth of value-added activities has clocked at 7.7% per year, one of the highest rates in the Eastern African Community. On top of that, the appeal of the Tanzanian manufacturing sector skyrocketed in 2017/18, attracting investments for US$2.55 billion, marking an astounding 311% improvement over the US$620 million invested in 2016.
The blossoming of a strong manufacturing sector is crucial, as it allows raw materials to remain and be manufactured within the country, creating jobs and opportunities and helping the country to reduce trade deficits in various pivotal sectors. “We are now self-sufficient in terms of cement and iron,” says Mr Joseph Kakunda, Tanzania’s former Minister of Industry & Trade. “We have recorded an increase of 12% in exports from US$397 million to about US$445 million, and that is steadily increasing. Ensuring that local industries have access to raw materials and are able to manufacture value-added products within the country is instrumental to national progress.”
One of the government’s concerns is making sure that companies investing in Tanzania are willing to engage in CSR initiatives that help develop and empower communities in the country. Neelkanth Lime Ltd commits to forming strong bonds with the villages that surround their plants. “We build schools, and we are having electricity put into the schools around us,” explains Kumar Pujara, Neelkanth’s Director. “Through the villages’ recommendations, we hire the labour force in our factory.”
The National Development Corporation (NDC) has also established crucial partnerships to improve the healthcare sector, collaborating with important private stakeholders such as Shelys Pharmaceuticals. “We have embarked on something called Continuous Medical Education,” says Sanjay Advani, Shelys’ CEO. “We have a field force trained on products and diseases. They visit doctors to explain the products we have, how they work, what kind of treatment is to be given.”
A paramount step in the government’s agenda was the approval of the business environment blueprint, which is to set the stage for a raft of amendments to laws and regulations governing the conduct of business, in an effort to make Tanzania more attractive to prospective investors. “Tanzania is today very friendly to investors,” claims Mr Kakunda, former Minister of Industry & Trade. “The business licensing authority now is going online, allowing you to register a company here in Europe, while we also have the Tanzanian Investment Centre, which provides various incentives to new investors.”