Minister allays fears over foreign dominance at EA business centre

By Guardian Reporter , The Guardian
Published at 08:00 AM May 23 2024
Minister for Finance Dr Mwigulu Nchemba
Photo: File
Minister for Finance Dr Mwigulu Nchemba

THE government says interests of Tanzanian businesses will be protected at the East African Business Centre which is being developed in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

This follows concerns raised by lawmakers that foreign businesspeople recognized as investors could end up engaging in undertakings that Tanzanians can do. 

Minister for Finance Dr Mwigulu Nchemba gave the assurance in the National Assembly yesterday when responding to queries by MPs on the East Africa Business Centre.

Earlier this week MPs advised the government to ensure that the coming of the East Africa Business Centre does not suffocate local businesses by allowing foreign enterprises to conduct small businesses.

In their contributions, the legislators advised the government to protect the interests of local businesspeople within the facility currently under construction at Ubungo area.

Responding to the arguments, Dr Nchemba said the government will ensure that investors engage only in undertaking for which they are legally registered in the country.

Minister of State in the President’s Office (Investment and Planning) Prof Kitilya Mkumbo said to ensure that local businessmen are protected, it has been arranged that 95 percent of the business booths will be owned by Tanzanians.

He said that the area has 1,860 booths and out of that 985 have been taken by local traders while the foreigners are only 15. There will also be warehouses to store cargo.