“We are now leading in the bloc. Our aim is to reach $5 billion per year”, Clifford Tandari, the acting director of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), told The Guardian in an interview in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
According to Tandari, the only threat to Tanzania is Rwanda since it has improved its laws and policy to now allow an investor to acquire land within two weeks.
He complained of the country’s cumbersome procedures in changing village land to general land, which takes almost two years.
“In Rwanda, the land acquiring process takes not more than two weeks. In Tanzania, the process takes more than a year. We must review the Tanzania Investment Act of 1997 and the investment policy of 1996 to be able to compete in the region and Africa in general”, said the TIC boss.
He noted that Tanzania recently missed a deal whereby an investor from Mauritius opted for Rwanda instead after experiencing delays in acquiring land here.
Although the number of local investors has slightly decreased, almost 5,000 of the currently registered 10,000 projects are owned by locals, he said.
The remaining are joint ventures with some owned by foreigners, he added.On the decreasing numbers of local investors seeking to invest in the country through TIC, he said this is due to the removal of tax incentives and exemptions.
He said plans are underway to meet all major investors in the country to see how they can help the government towards realising its industrialisation plan.
According to Tandari, Tanzania will soon witness a boom in both large and small-scale industries as the number of investors opting to inject money in the country increases.
He said most of the industries are built in Coast Region (Mkuranga) and Tanga.The TIC boss noted that Tanzania is set to have the largest tiles manufacturing factory in the EAC with the capacity to produce 80,000 tiles per day, plus another which will manufacture roofing sheets.
A major cement factory to be built in Tanga will provide 10,000 jobs for locals, he added.Meanwhile, talks are progressing well with an investor who will take over the Mchuchuma and Liganga projects employing 30,000 locals and 3,000 foreigners, Tandari said.
The TIC boss said that efforts are being done to reduce the number of days for the issuance of investment certificates, from the current 14 days to between 3 and 5 days.
Currently, Rwanda issues such certificates within six days.“Our efforts are geared to support the government towards attaining its Vision 2025 of becoming a middle-income country. This can only be done through industrialisation”, said Tandari, insisting that any country’s development depends on investments.
He said the government aims to establish a one-stop centre where investors are able to get everything under one roof, as part of efforts to improve the general investment environment and reduce bureaucracy.
Earlier, TIC’s acting director of investment facilitation Nakuala Senzia said investors are only allowed to employ five foreign employees with special skills.
Senzia explained that investors are entitled to post-project incentives only at early stages of the project to allow smooth implementation, and not after.
The centre’s acting director of research and information systems, Ayoub Sizya, said they are carrying out several studies in collaboration with the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on how small and medium- scale local entrepreneurs can directly contribute to the country’s economy.