During a recent ceremony in Dar es Salaam, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing, Dr. Mary Nagu, officially initiated the second phase of the Tanzania Business Sector Program Support (BSPS), in order to help develop the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the country.
According to Dr. Nagu, as a result of the current global financial crisis, the role and importance of SMEs is likely to begin expanding.
For this reason, Dr. Nagu indicated that she saw a pressing need for Tanzanians to work together in order to find a solution to the global economic crisis.
“The financial meltdown facing the world, Tanzania included, should be dealt with accordingly,” said Dr. Nagu in Dar es Salaam, “starting from the grassroots to the national level using all available resources.”
The SMEs Competitive Facility (SCF) was originally introduced during the second phase of the BSP as pilot program.
The SCF was begun as a small project organization that was fully financed by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) as a contracted international consultancy firm.
According to Dr. Nagu, because Tanzania has not yet reached the same levels of economic development as other countries in the sub-Saharan African, the government has high expectations that the second phase of the SCF will be implemented in a similar way as the first phase.
In a report by the Daily News, Dr. Nagu also called on Tanzanians to work together in order to discover a successful method of improving the national economic growth and the overall wellbeing of those who had been most affected by the current crisis.
“Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are among the crucial sub-sectors that if well managed and supported will help greatly to improve our limping economy,” said Dr. Nagu.
Dr. Nagu went on to highlight the importance of the MSME sub-sector and explained that the informal sector was currently responsible for approximately 70 percent of the industry’s employment and 50 percent of the gross national product (GDP), while, at the same time, the SME sector was responsible for one-third of GDP and 20 percent of the employed work force.
As reported by the Daily News, Dr. Nagu said that, “I have a strong belief that if this sector is well supported, organized and managed, obviously it would grow to become one of the economic icons.”
According to Dr. Nagu, there are currently approximately 2.7 million micro, small and medium enterprises in Tanzania, most of which are operating without formal registration or official licenses.
In order for the MSME sub-sector to fully grow and develop, Dr. Nagu has suggested that it will need to develop ways access to loans relatively easily as well as the education system in order to facilitate the businesses activities in both local and international markets.