Govt inks investment deal with African-Asian Union

13Oct 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Govt inks investment deal with African-Asian Union

THE government yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the African-Asian Union (AFASU) on investment in a number of sectors expected to boost economic growth.

The union comprises investors, some of whom have been in Tanzania since early last week and have showed interest in invest in agriculture, education, pharmaceuticals, hotels business and tourism.

Geoffrey Mwambe, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Investment), has told journalists in Dar es Salaam that the move follows his recent tour of Egypt.

He said the efforts the government has made to improve the business and investment climate have started to bear fruits, as more and more investors have shown keen interest in establishing projects in the country.

“Some of the investors will put up hotels in the likes of Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Bagamoyo, while there is also the possibility of some establishing an international-class university that will offer internet-based learning – or e-education,” he explained.

The university, the minister further revealed, will have offices in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma and will offer more than 14 courses and recruit students from African countries and other parts of the world.

AFASU President Dr Hossam Darwish meanwhile said: “We are only waiting for permission from the government to start implementing the university project.”

He expressed optimism that everything will go according to plan, with all formalities completed by mid-November, adding that part of their idea was to share with Tanzanians expertise in information and communication technology.

He elaborated: “We are done with all the preparations, including conducting research on the courses and programmes we would be happy offering. We are determined to churn out experts in line with the specific demands of the countries and people we would like to serve, with tuition conducted in Kiswahili, English, French and Arabic.”

Darwesh said that the education project is under the management of the union’s Education, Culture and Technology department and the programmes would be at undergraduate and Master’s level, “but there will an international diplomacy course to run for anything from three months to one year”.

Commenting on how they would specifically take part in the development of agriculture and other sectors in Tanzania, Darwesh said that experts from Egypt have been around since last week and have already identified some areas with a high potential for investment, including in seaweed farming.

“The thrust of our mission is chiefly on conducting research and spreading awareness across Africa and Asia, particularly with respect to the development part of culture. We are also keen on helping local tourism grow by ensuring that the private sector and local communities and private sector take full part in the development of the sector,” he noted.

He said AFASU came into being only as recently as about a year ago “but it already operates in 152 African and Asian countries”.

The union was founded under the umbrella of the Egypt-based Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO), itself an international NGO dedicated to the ideals of national liberation and Third World solidarity.

AAPSO was founded as the Solidarity Council of the Afro-Asian Countries at a conference held in Cairo from December 1957 to January 1958. The name was changed to its present form at the second conference held in the Guinean capital, Conakry, in April 1960.