The Tanzania Investment Centre is officially recognised as the primary government agency responsible for coordinating, encouraging, promoting and facilitating investment in the country as well as generally advising the government on matters relating to investment.
According to its own website, it is meant to serve as the focal point for people and institutions investing or intending to invest in Tanzania. Put a bit differently, it is the first point of call for potential investors and a one-stop facilitative centre for all investors.
A close look at the centre’s operations over the years shows that, despite the various odds it has had to contend with, it has made laudable progress towards realising its vision of growing into a world-class investment promotion agency portraying Tanzania as Africa’s premier investment destination.
But there also have been understandable reservations over TIC’s ability to or seriousness about its own self-proclaimed mission of promoting and facilitating investment for national economic development by improving conditions for the growth of business and entrepreneurship.
Fortunately, the centre was from its formative years modest enough to hint in its core values that it was only “through a positive corporate culture underpinned by team spirit, professionalism, integrity, creativity, customer care and dedication to excellence” that it hoped to translate its vision into concrete action supporting the national development agenda.
Most of those critics who may have initially dismissed the centre as too elitist and foreign-oriented for the comfort of Tanzanians must be disillusioned, given the extent to which it has gone in making our country more friendly to foreign and local investors but also in fighting to ensure that more and more of our people become investors to be reckoned with.
This is part of what we clearly see in TIC’s recently launched drive under which it has already conducted training seminars for local government officials, starting with ward councillors from Kinondoni Municipal in Dar es Salaam.
The centre is convinced that ripe is ripe for the officials to be introduced to the bolts and nuts of investment as a way of helping them to play a more meaningful role in mobilising members in their respective wards towards more gainful participation in entrepreneurship.
Although one would wish that the initiative first covered and benefited evidently more economically disadvantaged household, villagers, wards, districts and regions instead of Dar es Salaam, the effort is all the same praiseworthy.
This is essentially because many residents of the city and its environs badly need the kind of training and skills the TIC initiative is designed to offer. And there is a consolation in the assurance by the centre that every ward in Tanzania will be reached – that, resources allowing, it’s just a matter of time.
It is noteworthy that the training offered encourages the participation of the councillors themselves by way of coming up with investment ideas or proposals for possible implementation in collaboration with well established local and foreign investors.
Many of Tanzania’s numerous tourist attractions and much of its investment potential remain sleeping economic giants chiefly owing to lack of the relevant know-how, a hurdle the TIC seminars are out to clear. What a golden opportunity!