SBL, at the gates to support economic development in Tanzania in 2021

04Jan 2022
The Guardian Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
SBL, at the gates to support economic development in Tanzania in 2021

The New Year 2022 is on the horizon. Tanzania might be gladdened to see the new treasures and challenges of the upcoming year; however, the country should also be proud to reminisce on opportunities and huddles of the retreating year 2021. 

West Kilimanjaro farmers who are beneficiaries of SBL’s agri-business program inspecting their barley after harvesting.

With respect to all of that, the nation has continued to witness steady growth in the economy despite the global challenges of COVID19 that have been ablaze since 2019.

Tanzania's economy was projected to expand by 4.3 per cent this year, up from 0.4 per cent posted in 2020, according to the African Development Bank's (AFDB) latest economic outlook report for the region. AFDB also projects a growth of 4.9 per cent in 2022. The achievements have been possible following the government's resilience to improve the livelihood of each citizen in key sectors such as agriculture, energy, finance, sports, health and many more.

In the midst of it all, the government has called for other stakeholders to participate fully in bolstering the Tanzania economy at a critical stage to transform Tanzania into a fully-fledged middle-income country. This call has been heeded by Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) – the leading beer maker in the country who in 2021 has stood at the gates to support the country's economic development in the name of its Society 2030 action plan, entitled; Spirit of Progress that foresees a sustainable development in the community.

Since the year 2021 started, SBL has invested billions of shillings into the economy and created employment for hundreds of people across its value chain. This investment has been in capital and operational expenditure, including payments into the treasury as taxes.

SBL played a vital role in ensuring its business environment and supply chain in alcoholic beverages continues to thrive to sustain its contribution to the economy as a loyal taxpayer. Therefore, SBL invested in improving sanitation and cleanliness in the retail outlets in a programme entitled, 'Raise the bar program', where a total of 2.3 billion shillings was injected. The program provides several selected retail outlets and bars with hygiene equipment and training on preventing communicable diseases – Covid 19 included.

In September, the brewer also enlarged its production capacity by investing in brand new alcoholic spirits locally produced in Moshi. The facility is worth 5 million pounds (GBP), equivalent to 16 billion shillings was commissioned by the Prime Minister, Hon. Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa. The new facility produces a wide range of spirits, even those imported by SBL. One of its first locally made spirit brands is called BONGO DON – a truly Tanzanian product with world-class quality.

In replenishing and conservation of water, SBL invested over 200m shillings in building a borehole in Machochwe village, Serengeti district, in June. The borehole feeds over 12,000 people in the village. The water support initiative is termed 'Water of Life' (WOL). Since 2010, the programme has implemented 21 water projects in various parts of the country, sustainably providing clean and safe water to over two million people.

Another audacious investment by SBL has been made in agriculture by providing technical education to college students in their programme dubbed the Kilimo-Viwanda Scholarship Programme established in 2019.

The programme has sponsored more than 70 students since its establishment, and in 2021 SBL has increased the number to 100. Kilimo Viwanda targets students from underprivileged families to pursue diploma level courses in agricultural fields. SBL has partnered with four local colleges, Kilacha in Moshi, Igabiro in Iringa, Kaole in Bagamoyo and St Maria Goretti in Iringa.

Another aspect of investment in agriculture by SBL has been enhancing its commitment to support farmers through contract farming through its agri-business initiative that incorporated over 400 local farmers spread in eight regions across the country. According to SBL Corporate Relations Director John Wanyancha, he named a few regions that benefit in this area like Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara, Singida, Dodoma, Shinyanga, Mwanza, and Mara.

He also said, 'SBL provides agricultural inputs such as free quality seeds, fertilizer, technical advice, and other farm implements to farmers through the programme. SBL also links them to financial institutions to access credit facilities- and in return, it purchases cereals such as maize, sorghum and barley-which it uses for beer production.' Moreover, SBL has targeted to bring its investment to 200 billion until 2022 following increase in investment by 12 billion shillings in Moshi this year and another investment in Moshi by 15.7 billion.