Just a few days since former President Benjamin Mkapa was criticised by intellectuals for his privatisation policy, Minister for Industries, Trade and Marketing Dr Cyril Chami has come forward and defended his policy saying it has benefited Tanzanians.
Dr Chami said this at a meeting yesterday to discuss the development of industries in Kilimanjaro Region held at the Regional Commissioners' Office in which traders, regional executives and other stakeholders participated.
He asserted that the policy had benefited Tanzania and its people and it was high time politicians stopped criticising it for their own interests. "The Privatisation Policy is good and has benefited Tanzanians to a considerable extent. There are shortcomings, yes but we need to concentrate on how best we can overcome them," said Dr Chami.
He said the policy made it possible for the government not to engage in business but allowed traders to play an active role in running businesses and, therefore, it was important to focus on the positive aspect of the policy.
On April 12, this year, during discussions organised by the Mwalimu Nyerere
Professorial Chair at the Nkrumah Hall at the University of Dar es Salaam, intellectuals criticised the privatisation policy saying it had not brought about the country the benefits it should have, as it did not help spur economic growth.
The academicians, mostly from the University of Dar es Salaam, questioned why the former president touted for the policy, which instead of helping Tanzanians improve their living standards, ended up pulling them into poverty.
In another development, Dr Chami said the government planned to construct 800 new factories in three years’ time to create more jobs and help the nation earn foreign exchange.
He said in order for the country to develop, having many industries was a
prerequisite without which it would be difficult to eradicate poverty.
"The government plans to build 800 big factories in the next three years so that by 2015, these should be functioning and should create jobs for the youth," he said. For his part, RC Leonidas Gama called on Tanzanians to invest in industries to push forward the country's economic growth and enable it earn more foreign exchange.
He said Kilimanjaro Region was facing a number of challenges including racketeering and an increase in the number of unemployed young people, saying all these challenges would be overcome if Tanzanians invested in industries.
The chief engineer in the Ministry of Industries, Trade and Marketing, Deodatus Ndunguru, said the ministry had drawn strategies to develop the existing industries so that they would succeed.
He said in 2010, industrial growth stood at 8 per cent from 7.45 per cent registered in 2002 and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate had reached 9.61 per cent in 2010 compared to 8.40 in 2002.
The Kilimanjaro regional chairman of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA), Patrick Boisafi, called on businesspeople to play their part and use the opportunities opened up by the Privatisation Policy and invest in industries to increase their earnings.
A stakeholder in industries in the region, Samuel Moshi, called on government executives to work hard and attract more investors to invest in the country.