On 2nd December 2022, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) hosted the national Private Sector Day in Dar es Salaam to discuss the achievements and challenges in the country’s business environment.
This year’s theme of the high-profile event was “Enhancing Private Sector Competitiveness” and brought together captains of industry, CEOs, and senior government officials and saw the presence of Tanzania’s Vice President Philip Mpango and the Minister of Investment, Industry, and Trade Dr. Ashatu Kijaji.
In her opening remarks, the Chairperson of TPSF Angelina Ngalula explained that the purpose of the event is to assess the achievements of the private sector during the past year and evaluate the conduciveness of Tanzania’s business and investment environment.
Among the accomplishments of the private sector, she highlighted the growth in investments, employment opportunities, tax compliance, and the expansion in new markets for Tanzanian products.
She also commended the government of Tanzania under the leadership of H.E. President Samia Suluhu Hassan for improving the business environment, stressing that is now not only conducive but also predictable.
“This has increased investors’ confidence because they are now sure about their tomorrow,” she added.
She also stressed the good relations that are now in place now between the government and the private sector and the joint efforts in further stimulating the country’s strong economic growth, giving the example of the revived and flourishing tourism industry.
She reminded the audience that at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government together with the private sector implemented several initiatives to ensure the recovery of the heavily-affected sector such as the rollout of vaccination campaigns, virtual marketing campaigns, and President Hassan’s Royal Tour documentary, which resulted in an increased inflow of tourists and investors to Tanzania.
However, in his remarks, Vice President Mpango raised concern over the slow pace of implementation of the blueprint for regulatory reforms to further improve the business environment.
The Blueprint For Regulatory Reforms To Improve The Business Environment was released by the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment in April 2018.
“This Blueprint provides a guide to achieving the industrialization dream of creating, in the shortest period possible, the required business-enabling environment where the government and the private sector work hand in hand in realizing the dream. It seeks to put in place a framework that enables the review of the business-enabling environment (BEE) for an improved business climate in Tanzania,” the document reads.
Mpango said that the execution of the Blueprint, which started in July 2019, has only reached 13% of its implementation, and instructed Dr. Kijaji to ensure at least 50% of the implementation by the end of next year and take measures against institutions that impede the implementation.
He also stressed that the involvement of the private sector in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) was not encouraging and directed the Ministry of Finance and Planning and TPSF to look into the issues that are hindering the private sector’s participation.
For her part, Dr. Kijaji reiterated the government’s commitment to continue improving the business climate in Tanzania to attract more investors and invited them to take advantage of the business opportunities represented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that commenced on 1st January 2021.
She said that in June next year, Tanzania is set to take its products to the AfCFTA and must ensure consistent and sustainable supply to reap the benefits from the trade area.