Dr Leonard Chamuriho, the minister for Works and Transport, expressed this commitment in Dar es Salaam yesterday when speaking at a meeting with a delegation of French companies who are in the country on a maritime business exploration tour.
The minister said that Tanzania has vast opportunities for investments in the maritime sector, thus the visit provides an opportunity for the two sides to share knowledge and discuss the potential that the country has in this sector.
Tanzania has enormous water related resources as water bodies take up 37-percent of the national area, a coast-line of 1,424 km and numerous islands especially within the Zanzibar archipelago, he stated, noting that the country was open for heavy investment in diverse sectors of the blue economy, including deep-sea fishing, port infrastructure, marine transport, oil exploration and drilling, apart from tourism.
The French delegation is in the country to explore opportunities to venture into the country’s maritime sector, with the minister pointing out that the blue economy agenda “has naturally become a top priority for the Union and Zanzibar governments.”
The French ambassador, Frederic Clavier, said the tour aims at strengthening cooperation and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean region with a focus on maritime safety and security; trade and investment.
Other areas include tourism plus academic, scientific and technological exchanges while others are fisheries management; disaster risk management plus women’s economic empowerment and blue economy investments, he stated.
Discussions on the many aspects of the blue economy are ongoing between France and the two governments in order to contribute to an ambitious Blue Economy strategy beneficial for all parties involved and uplifting the western rim of the Indian Ocean region, he specified.
“France strategises to see which areas it can work with Tanzania,” he said, elaborating that discussions with the French business community were intended to see how France can work with Tanzania “to ensure we explore opportunities available.”
Tanzania has a huge potential for investment in the blue economy with its extensive shorelines on the Indian Ocean, he declared.
Dr Rashid Tamatama, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, said that despite having enormous water related resources, the sector’s contribution to the national economy was limited, hence the need for more investments to enhance its earnings potential.