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