Tanzania invites French investors to explore fishing in Indian Ocean
By Lydia Shekighenda
The government has expressed its readiness to improve fishing by organising the sector in Tanzania’s Indian Ocean section so as to effectively exploit marine resources for the betterment of the country.
President Jakaya Kikwete revealed this here on Tuesday during a breakfast meeting with over 50 French companies which are members of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF).
The President invited the French investors to invest in Tanzania because there are plenty of investment opportunities in agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, mining, water, tourism and social services.
Briefing of opportunities in fishing sector, the President said currently there is no serious fishing going on in the country especially in the Indian Ocean thus the need to improve the activity.
“Our people just use dugout canoes for fishing which don’t go far as a result the country’s fish especially tuna are being stolen through piracy… we also need investors in this area so as to organize proper fishing in the Indian Ocean,” the President said.
He further said that there are a number of business opportunities in agriculture and the government focuses on inviting investors to invest in crops they are interested in although the government’s priority is to ensure there is surplus of food production for security and for the region and other countries.
Many countries such as South Sudan and Seychelles depend on Tanzania for food...we want to do a lot in food production and we have focused on five regions in the country where rainfall is assured and the climate conditions are good and favorable.
He assured investors that the country has plenty of arable land, about 44 million square kilometers of which 10 to15 percent of the land is being utilised, saying that there is still a vast land for agricultural activities.
The President further said that mining sector had also opportunities since the country has plenty of industrial raw materials which are yet to be exploited such as coal, soda ash, gypsum, iron ore, copper, silver and limestone.
On power he said hydro power generation has become less reliable and the country is migrating to generate power from natural gas and coal.
“We are inviting players to come and work with our national power utility or invest individually,” he said.
The President also invited partners in the construction of a standard gauge railway line into Rwanda, Burundi and eastern DRC, adding that feasibility study has already been done by the World Bank and the government is currently going to the financing process.
President Kikwete assured investors that his government will continue to improve business environment for both local and foreign investors including lands rights for small and large scale producers.
For his part, Chairman of MEDEF Dominique Lafont commended the President for various initiatives he has made to improve business environment in Tanzania although there are still many challenges such as stiff labour force and unreliable power.
He said the all the companies which attended the breakfast meeting are eager to invest in Tanzania of which 20 of them already have an experience in Africa and they want to invest in Tanzania.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN