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Set up centre to back SME innovation-call

14th February 2013
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Small Industrial Development Organisation (SIDO)

The government and other donors have been urged to support Small Industrial Development Organisation (SIDO) by establishing an innovative centre of which the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) will use as a fibre hub.

The centre will not only help the SMEs develop natural fibre products and sell it, but also provide an opportunity for them to hold exhibitions for their products.

This was said on Tuesday by Watipaso Mkandawire, Acting Head and Adviser, Agriculture and Enterprise Special Advisory Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC).

He said there is a need for the government and donors to support SIDO on the matter as currently COMSEC is only providing training and technical support to the country’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The training and technical support that COMSEC offers relates to designing and product development of fibre so as to develop natural fibre products capable of winning local and international markets.

“I am impressed to witness the COMSEC’s initiatives to train (MSME) in Tanzania…the achievement has received a positive response, the MSMES have developed natural fiber products that are selling both domestically and internationally,” he said.

The COMSEC representative thanked Jennifer Rosenthal, Design and Economic Development Consultant from Transformation Design Company based in Canada who was in Tanzania in October last year for training them.

Currently SMEs are using natural fibre such as coconut shells, sisal, bamboo tree, papyrus fibres, straw mat, banana leaves as well as all types of grass that provides fibres to produce different products.

According to him, similar projects are taking place in Mozambique and Zambia where people are trained on new design and develop various products that can be sold in different countries.

He therefore called on SMEs practitioners currently attending the second phase of the training to be creative and innovative for what they have and what they planned to do so as to benefit from the project.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN