Regional Commissioner, Engineer Gabriel Robert said in Dar es Salaam this week that his administration is aggressively scouting for private investors to turn Geita region into a single, multi-tier, mega special economic zone hub.
“If an investor wants to build a manufacturing factory, the land will be given free on the understanding that they will provide employment to our people as well as pay taxes,” Eng Gabriel said.
He added that the mineral rich Lake Zone region wants investments in manufacturing industries, agri-parks, fisheries, automobile and modern technologies. The RC further said that his region is already in touch with United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) to support in the initiative of establishing the SEZ.
“We have contacted the UNDP seeking their support because we want to see the SEZ in Geita becomes a pioneer, laboratory and leader in the revitalization and transformation of Lake Zone into an industrial hub creating jobs,” he added.
Eng Gabriel said in a bid to kick-start infrastructure and other related services at the designated SEZ area, the region will use funds received from gold miners and other sources to finance such aspects which will attract private investors.
Among other things, the SEZ will also incorporate an international trade exhibition centre and industrial park targeting the bigger East African Community market. It will also have conference facilities as well as traditional villages.
On his part, Geita Town Council Chairman, Leonard Bugomola said their ambitious goal will soon become a reality as ground clearing work has already started. “Already, there are some companies which have showed commitments to collectively invest in our SEZ project,” Bugomola said.
“The area that we have allocated for SEZ projects is next to the main road from Mwanza to Geita and has everything that investors need. Therefore as a chairman of town council, I once again welcome investor to our region.”
Geographically, Geita is close to the borders with Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as well as DR Congo, which have vast resources including minerals in Kivu Region. Geita Region produces about 35 percent of the country’s gold.
Export Processing Zones Authority’s Director General, Joseph Simbakalia advised Geita regional leaders to invest heavily in infrastructure if the SEZ ambition is to materialise. He named necessary infrastructure and services as reliable power supply, skilled human capital, roads, water supply and modern means of transportation.