BUSINESS & THE ECONOMY

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Continued improvement of the environment for investors saw foreign investments to Tanzania between January and June last year surge to an estimated Tsh.268.7 million. Investments included projects in paper manufacturing, textiles, cement, gas pipeline building, edible oil and soap manufacturing and tourism. Investment worth Tsh. 68.3 million was made in the Mufindi Paper Mills, which, after rehabilitation, should create 2,200 new jobs. The China-Tanzania Friendship Textile Mill, after rehabilitation, will have 1,269 vacancies, while Premier Cashew Industries Ltd expects to create 3,555 new jobs. Three local business firms have made deals with Dutch companies to develop new businesses in honey, beeswax and production of enriched flour meal – Guardian.
The success in attracting foreign investments can be attributed to reformation of the business licence regime, new labour laws and amendments to the Land Act which make land an acceptable collateral by the financial institutions which lend money to small and medium entrepreneurs – Financial Times.

The Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has been awarded the first prize as the best investment centre in Africa. Senegal was the runner-up followed by Ghana. There were 42 participants in the contest that was organised by the ‘African Investor’ a journal published in the UK. The Chief Executive of TIC, Samuel Sitta, said the average age of their staff was 36-37 and they worked day and night. He also said the centre enjoyed good support from the Government. He said that, as a rule, a telephone call is answered immediately and all correspondence is answered within 48 hours. Sitta said no staff member is allowed to say, “The boss is out” – Nipashe.

Britain is to increase its aid to Tanzania from £95 million in 2004 to £110 mill this year. Britain has taken the decision after seeing that Tanzania is doing well in economic development and in poverty reduction. UK Secretary for International Development, Hilary Benn, said that in the last five years Tanzania had been able to double its expenditures in important sectors such as education, health, agriculture, transport, water and the judiciary – Mwananchi.

Tanzania is now said to be the fastest growing tourist destination in Africa, competing hard with South Africa, Botswana and Kenya after a tourism slump hit Zimbabwe.
A pilot plant to produce biogas, electricity and fertiliser from sisal waste is being constructed at the Kwaraguru sisal estate in Handeni district. The project is being jointly financed by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), Amboni Limited, the Tanzania Sisal Board and the Sisal Association of Tanzania. Implementation of the project on all estates in Tanga region could produce more than 30 megawatts of electricity, the total consumption for the region. The by-product from the biogas generation process is liquid and solid fertilizer which would increase soil moisture retention, increase microbial activity and prevent leaching and run-off. In the 1970’s Tanzania was the world’s main supplier of sisal.

Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) expects to be producing surplus power by the end of 2005. Managing Director Rudy Huysen was quoted in the Guardian as saying that the company’s dependence on water for power generation would be drastically reduced from the current 80% and production from other sources would improve to account for 60%. Tanesco is also replacing its outdated billing system with an advanced ‘Hi-Affinity billing system’.

The Kilimanjaro Development Foundation (KDF) says it is planning to promote the cultivation of vanilla and vines so that they eventually replace coffee as the main cash crops grown in the region. KDF Chairman Cleopa Msuya outlined the plan in Moshi during the handing over of a 1m/- contribution from Paramount Chief Thomas Marealle. Marealle, whose contribution made him the first KDF life member, called on Kilimanjaro people to do all they could to ensure that the region regained its lost glory in all aspects of development – Guardian.

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