Corruption has been cited as a major force behind high cost of doing business in Tanzania, a senior official of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) said yesterday.
TCCIA Dar es Salaam Regional Chairman, Ndibalema Mayanja, made the remarks during the opening of a three-day 16th East Africa International Trade Exhibition which drew participants from 32 countries across the globe.
“Corruption is a major stumbling block in business,” said the TCCIA regional chairman.
He said business community should join hands to fight corruption and other malpractices, hindering growth and development in the country.
“As businessmen and women, we should show commitment to battle against graft. We have to stamp out corruption…we have to say no to corruption,” said Ndibalema.
Recognising the importance of corruption-free business environment, he said associations and commonwealth members set up Business Action Against Corruption (BAAC) in 2005. Presidents from Commonwealth countries met in South Africa and agreed on the formation of the organ, according to the TCCIA official.
“Under this organ, they agreed that businessmen and women should be in the forefront in the fight against corruption and related acts,” he said.
BAAC allows Tanzania business community to promptly communicate with the concerned authorities once they spot corruption elements in both private and public sectors.
“Under the BAAC framework, we will automatically collaborate with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), instead of leaving the burden to the watchdog alone…without the Tanzanian businessmen, PCCB will never achieve its goals,” he said.
He called upon Tanzanian contractors, business people and individuals, especially those dealing with papers, IT, medicine, food and construction materials, to interact with the companies from Dubai, noting that some of them have no agents in Tanzania.
For her part, the Public Relations Officer of National Council for Construction Zambia, Wendy Nambule-Mukape encouraged businesspeople from Tanzania to cross and do business in her country, saying many firms “have no partners from Tanzania so far.”
“This trade exhibition has enabled our businessmen and contractors to exchange notes with other businessmen across the world including Tanzania. I would like to provide consultancy services to Tanzania…currently, most of our clients are from China and South Africa,” she noted.
Managing Director of Industrial Spares Africa (ISA Ltd) in Tanzania, Lex Todd urged dealers in the country to value their customers by selling them genuine products, noting: “The major challenge that some businessmen are facing is to import counterfeit products, including spare parts.”
He equated it to stealing customers’ money because they are forced to change the parts after short periods, being forced to spend more money than was necessary.