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Amb Meela: Grab openings in Great Lakes

TANZANIANS have been invited to grab investiment opportunities in Great Lakes regions especially in hospitality industry.

The Tanzania Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lt Gen (rtd) Paul Meela said investors and traders should exploit the abundant business openings in the region by constructing five star hotels and business centres.

“Tanzania traders especially those on border regions like Kagera should forge close links and make regular visits in DRC to exchange ideas,” he said.

The retired general made the remarks yesterday morning during a joint meeting convened by Kagera leaders to identify investment opportunities available in the area at the start of Kagera Week celebrations.

The ambassador said that available business opportunities in the DRC, with a population of around 81 million, include establishing industries for processing minerals, food commodities including maize, rice and bananas, industrial products such as tyres, cement and iron bars and transportation

. Kiswahili was another potential area where Tanzania can greatly benefit by sending qualified teachers in various schools and colleges in the DRC.

Ambassador Meela also challenged financial institutions including commercial banks to open branches in the DRC.

He also advised the private sector through Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA), to have close links with their counterparts in DRC.

He similarly challenged key sectors including immigration, customs and other departments on borders to have uniform in promoting trade ties with neighbouring business community.

Tanzania’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Inspector of Police (IGP-rtd), Ernest Mangu, noted that the upgrading of Burigi Chato National park was a golden opportunity where Tanzanians can benefit through construction of five star hotels.

“Rwanda has invested much in travel tourism sector but their two National Parks of Akagera and Namsanze did not have many wild animals compared to Tanzania,” Amb Mangu said.

Rwanda is much advanced in the production of horticultural products with a big market in Europe and a big producer of milk and beef.

Mr Mangu appealed to District Executive Directors (DEDs) to assist people by establishing border markets at Mutukula, Kabanga and Rusumo. “It is sad to note that there was no hotel at Mutukula and Rusumo.

This forces traders to cross to neighbouring countries,” he said.

Tanzania’s acting Burundi Ambassador, Dr Edmund Kitokezi, welcomed Tanzanian investors to attend an Investors Forum which is expected to be held in the capital, Bujumbura at this month’s last weekend.

While opening the meeting, Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Brig Gen Marco Gaguti explained that income per capita increased from 667,000/- during 2010 to 1,300,000/- last year while the regional per capita also increased from 1.3tril/- during 2017 to 4.9tril/- last year.

Kagera shares borders with four countries namely Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya across Lake Victoria, but also is close to South Sudan and DRC with a combined population of 190 million.

“This is a big assert to increase our trade relations,” he said.

Other Tanzania’s ambassadors who attended the meeting include Dr Aziz Mlima (Uganda) and Dr Pindi Chana (Kenya).

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa expects to grace the opening of Kagera Week on Wednesday.

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