Geita region plans diversification into SEZ investment vehicle

07Nov 2018
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Geita region plans diversification into SEZ investment vehicle

IN a bid to diversify its sources of revenue from over-reliance on mining sector, Geita region wants to lure private investment into special economic zones (SEZ).

Employees of Geita Gold Mine undertaking a community project.

 Regional Administrative Secretary, Denis Bandisa said in Dar es Salaam earlier this week that minerals being a perishable resource cannot be the only source of revenue for the region which is endowed with many resources.

“In the SEZ, we will begin with meat processing and other livestock products to prove to the world that we are really number two in livestock keeping, behind Ethiopia but also broadening our revenue sources,” Bandisa who led the region’s delegation for a study tour at Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) in Dar es Salaam, said.

He noted that, 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.

“Apart from local players, we are also aiming to attract exhibitors and investors from the East and Central African region who will come to the planned international trade exhibition centre,” he added.

Geographically, Geita is near Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as well as DRC Congo, which has large mines in Kivu Region. Geita Region produces about 35 percent of the country’s gold.

The region had set aside about 600 acres of land in Geita Municipality and financial capital which has been collected since last year from mining firms led by Geita Gold Mine (GGM) and other domestic revenue sources.

The RAS said on average, GGM contributes not less than 10bn/- annually in terms of taxes and corporate social responsibility expenditure while the municipality collects about 5bn/- per year as tax from various sources.

“We continue with preparations as we will also visit various stakeholders here in the city, including Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank to seek funding to be used as capital to invest in infrastructure to attract investments.

Chato District Executive Director (DED), Eliudi Mwaiteleke said the town council is in final stages of introducing a tourists’ gateway to Lubondo and the imminent Biharamulo and Buligi National Parks.

Mwaiteleke said the process to declare Biharamulo and Buligi as national parks is underway as currently demarcation and verification exercises are almost over.

 EPZA Director General, Joseph Simbakalia told the delegation that in order to succeed, Geita should invest heavily in infrastructure, reliable power supply, human capital as well as production of quality commodities to be used as raw materials by industries.