The government has commended the contribution made by Research on Poverty Alleviation (Repoa) in promoting development in the country.
The appreciation was expressed by President Jakaya Kikwete, when addressing Repoa’s 17th annual research workshop in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
“Please, continue playing your part as best as you can…Tanzania still needs Repoa’s contribution,” he said.
He also thanked the generous support of the governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada for Repoa’s strategic plan for 2010-2014.
He urged participants of the research workshop to critically assess constraints that undermined the country’s desire to achieve rapid socio-economic transformation.
The president said the involvement of the country’s informal sector was a key factor for the country’s socio-economic development.
He explained that if the sector were properly organised and supported it could make a huge impact on Tanzania’s development and poverty reduction endeavours.
He noted that his government was taking measures to address the challenges facing the informal sector with a view to enhancing efficiency and creating a more conducive legal and regulatory framework.
The president said most informal sector operations fell under the category of small enterprises and called for more reflection and research so that the country’s SMEs could grow faster and contribute more to the economy, just like what they did in other countries.
“In my opinion, this has a great potential to become the linchpin in our broad-based growth initiatives,” said Kikwete.
According to the president, apart from agriculture and the informal sector, robust transformation also requires a deep structural change and transformation in other key sectors.
“The development of the manufacturing sector is an integral part of industrial transformation,” he said, adding that the question of industrialisation was addressed in the Sustainable Industrial Development Policy (1996-2020).
He said the government had recently approved an Integrated Industrial Strategy (2011) that promotes diversification, productivity and competitiveness driven by technology, innovation and human skills.
For his part, the Netherlands Ambassador to Tanzania Dr Ad Koekkoek said development and transformation of an economy were a consequence of economic policies being followed in combination with available resources.
He explained that utilising the comparative advantage implied basically that the country be integrated in the world market.
“The world market is huge,” he said, adding that there was a lot of space for Tanzania.
Among notable figures, who attended the two-day workshop was head of the Developing Economies Study Department at the Institute of World Economy in Viet Nam, Prof Do Duc Dinh, and dean of the College of Humanities and Development at China Agricultural University and senior research associate at China International Poverty Reduction Centre in Beijing, Prof Li Xiaoyun.