Judegment Day At The High Court London

Judegment Day At The High Court London
Mengi v Hermitage: Libel Claim Successfully Defended

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Kikwete`s reminder on investors timely

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete hit the nail on the head when he reminded civil servants of their cardinal duty of serving investors diligently in the interest of promoting economic growth. "You must stand as facilitators of investments and not as impediments... You must be quick in your decisions when handling their interests. We in the public sector must change our mindsets and assist investors to invest and develop," were the president's words when laying a foundation stone for the privately owned EPZ project in Bagamoyo on Friday.

We hope that all those dealing with investors not only listened carefully to the president, but this time will remove the deficiencies that the president has pointed out more than once and even created an Investor Complaints Bureau to address them.

We must invest more time and resources to create a friendly environment for handling investors, if we are to benefit from our resources to clearly show the distinction between smart facilitation and obstructive red tape.
Don’t our bureaucrats know that this is about jobs, tax revenues and multiplier effects on other sectors that grow out of one investment?.

It is not enough to shout to investors that we are potentially one of the richest countries in Africa, endowed with such much sought-after resources as minerals, expansive fertile farmland, wildlife and a host of other natural resources. Investors indeed do acknowledge that fact. That is why they come inquiring and checking out the conditions of investment on the ground. It is here that we expect the demonstration of preparedness by our people who have been tasked to receive and guide them.

One of the basic tenets that they must understand as they welcome and serve the investors is that these people do not need hurdles. Rather, they need clearly mapped out and fast procedures of obtaining the necessary licences and permits in the shortest time to enable them get on with the task of setting up shop, so to speak.

The easiest way to chase away investors, is to subject them to a windy, bureaucratic process of obtaining licences or permits for whatever they want to venture into.

The President has on numerous occasions reminded Tanzanians that even the developed nations, which to us seem to be saturated with investors, are still reviewing their various laws and procedures in a bid to attract more investments. Conscious of such intensive competition, but also the potential benefits that flow from a properly run campaign to attract investors, politicians and civil servants must be in the forefront in creating such enabling environment.

Removing the hurdles for investors, has most unfortunately been interpreted as letting in just anybody who puts on the label of an investor, leading to complaints that the country does not have the capacity to distinguish an investor from a pretender. It must be admitted, that in some cases, pretenders have sneaked in using an investor certificate and gone ahead to engage in petty trade or dubious activities harmful to the economy. It is expected that a mechanism is already in place to deal with such impostors, without in the process, holding back genuine investors.


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