MINISTER of State in the President’s Office (Investment) Prof Kitila Mkumbo said over the weekend that attracting Tanzanians living in the Diaspora to invest in Tanzania is one of his strategies that focus on boosting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to swell the country’s foreign currency reserve.
Prof Mkumbo made the remarks when he graced the investors’ forum in Dar es Salaam at which both local and foreign investors gathered to discuss investment opportunities available in agriculture, infrastructure and industries.
The minister cited China as one of the countries which have largely benefited from investments from its citizens living in the Diaspora.
“One of our strategies is that we want Tanzanians outside the country to come in their big numbers to invest to increase the FDI flow,” Prof Mkumbo said.
During the forum, organised by the Accountable Africa Organisation, the minister gave the investors 14 reasons why Tanzania was a better place for investment.
Among other reasons, he said the country has always been enjoying political stability, easy to access to SADC market with a population of 400 million, fertile arable land and has major ports of Dar es Salaam and Mtwara.
He emphasized more investment in processing industries for agricultural produce to add value to the agricultural crops.
During the forum the investors explored win-win investment opportunities in agriculture, infrastructure and industrialisation whereby both investors and Tanzania benefit.
African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina said “Tanzania is burgeoning with value added potential.”
Mr Thierry Mouanza Dongala, founder of the Accountable Africa, which hosted the forum, noted that the investor forum was a timely event by evidence of the ideals that were discussed on the sidelines of the forum.
The agriculture sector received notable interest from foreign investors looking to partner with Tanzanian smallholder farmers to enhance productivity while staying true to Tanzania’s valued Non-GMO status.
Managing Director of the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) Mr Japhet Justine remarked that opportunities in Tanzania’s agricultural sector were in the whole value chain.
“The only huge opportunity is on value addition,” he stated, arguing that for instance about 95 per cent of Tanzania’s coffee is exported as raw coffee. Mr Peter Schuurs, Co- Founder of reap company, said: “we are more than eager to put our hard-earned capital to work on Tanzanian soil to meet our bottom-line, contributing towards Tanzania’s self-sufficiency and the region’s food security, in a responsible and sustainable manner.”
Members of the diaspora group remarked that it was their duty to put the capital they earned in foreign countries to work in Africa where it was most needed and could bring the most return.