It is a well-known fact that historically, Tanzania has paid little attention to developing youth football although in recent years, things have markedly improved for the better.
Arguably, this U-turn in terms of our attitude to youth football, began in 2007 when the very first Copa Coca-Cola national U-17 championships were held.
This year has also seen the cause of youth football development take another massive stride, in the form of the ‘Rising Stars’ campaign sponsored by a mobile phone company.
The campaign features youth players in some regions of the country, including Dar es Salaam, taking part in a tournament from which the best six players will get the golden chance to attend a two-week football clinic at the Manchester United football academy in October.
Indeed, this prize up for grabs ought to provide a great incentive for the youngsters to display their skills, in the hope that they will be amongst the few chosen to enhance their budding careers at Manchester United.
Nevertheless, while undoubtedly the ‘Rising Stars’ campaign is an unprecedented development for local youth football, more needs to be done.
For instance, it would help a great deal if the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) tried to set up more football academies around the country, in a bid to harness the talent of the youngsters at the grassroots level.
This is a well-trodden path taken by football heavyweights on the continent such as Nigeria and Ghana, who in the past have brought enormous pride to all Africans by winning international youth championships - Under-17 and Under-20.
It follows then that we stand to achieve similar success in the years to come, if we invest in the right sort of areas of youth development.
It is clear then that although we have forged ahead tremendously in recent years, we can still do a little bit more where youth development is concerned.
Lloyd Elipokea is a sports commentator