Tan­za­nia hails Bel­gian sup­port

East African Business Week - - SPORTS - BY DAMAS MAKANGALE

DAR ES SALAAM, TAN­ZA­NIA - The gov­ern­ment has been hailed for its ef­forts on cre­at­ing a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for in­vest­ment as Bel­gian business com­mu­nity showed ea­ger­ness to in­vest in the en­ergy, sisal, trans­port and in­fra­struc­ture sec­tors to give a boost to the country’s econ­omy.

Speak­ing to the East African Business week at the Kings Func­tion day held last week at the Am­bas­sador Res­i­dence in Dar es Salaam, Bel­gian Am­bas­sador to Tan­za­nia, Paul Cartier said that the gov­ern­ment has to cre­ate a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for sus­tain­able in­vest­ment devel­op­ment.

“Nearly 42 business peo­ple are here in Tan­za­nia for business and trade talks that will lead to the sus­tain­able in­vest­ments be­tween the two coun­tries, but I would like to call upon the gov­ern­ment to re­duce mul­ti­ple taxes as a way to en­cour­age For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment (FDI),” he said.

Am­bas­sador Cartier told the EABW that the bi­lat­eral and eco­nomic ties be­tween the two coun­tries will con­tinue for the bet­ter­ment of the peo­ple as his gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to sup­port Tan­za­nia in vari- ous ar­eas as a path for so­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

He said that at present, Bel­gian Devel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion is ac­tive in the do­mains of nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, agri­cul­ture, water and san­i­ta­tion.

How­ever, he noted that the ef­forts made over the next few years will con­cen­trate on a lim­ited num­ber of sec­tors be­cause one as­sess­ment con­cluded that the scope of Bel­gian co­op­er­a­tion was too wide.

Am­bas­sador Cartier un­der­scored that for ex­am­ple that Bel­gium was spread­ing its re­sources too thinly over too many sec­tors and the ge­o­graph­i­cal dis­per­sion of projects also made it dif­fi­cult to adopt a con­sis­tent ap­proach.

More­over, the devel­op­ment pro­gramme con­cluded be­tween Bel­gium and Tan­za­nia in late 2009 is fo­cused on two sec­tors namely re­form­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and man­ag­ing nat­u­ral re­sources.

The bud­get for 2010-2013 stands at € 60 mil­lion (about $63 mil­lion). Cross-cut­ting is­sues in­clude gen­der, the en­vi­ron­ment and the rights of the child. Tan­za­nia is one of the poor­est coun­tries in the world. Most Tan­za­ni­ans still de­pend on sub­sis­tence farm­ing to sur­vive.

Bel­gium is pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to the Tan­za­nian Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Re­form Pro­gramme, which was set up to strengthen lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and trans­form them into ef­fec­tive in­stru­ments of so­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

The pro­gramme in­volves de­volv­ing gov­ern­ment re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and fi­nan­cial re­sources to the lo­cal level to give district coun­cils more au­ton­omy to set their own pri­or­i­ties and im­ple­ment their own devel­op­ment plans. Un­der the new sys­tem, lo­cal gov­ern­ment ad­min­is­tra­tions will be re­spon­si­ble for meet­ing lo­cal needs and be held ac­count­able by lo­cal coun­cils. In other words, lo­cal gov­ern­ments are be­com­ing the driv­ing force be­hind devel­op­ment.

Nat­u­ral re­sources are key to longterm eco­nomic devel­op­ment and poverty re­duc­tion in gen­eral. Many com­mu­ni­ties in Tan­za­nia de­pend on nat­u­ral re­sources be­cause they sur­vive through fish­ing, farm­ing, hunt­ing, keep­ing live­stock or forestry prod­ucts.

Ac­cord­ingly, Bel­gium is sup­port­ing those Tan­za­nian ini­tia­tives in which en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion and eco­nomic devel­op­ment go hand in hand.

COUR­TESY PHOTO

SOLID LINKS: Bel­gian Devel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion is ac­tive in such ar­eas as nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, agri­cul­ture, water and san­i­ta­tion projects.

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