Dr Benson Alfred Bana, Tanzanian High Commissioner to Nigeria, has urged Nigerian investors and businesses to consider investing in Tanzania, whose GDP was projected at 5.8 per cent in 2022.
Bana made the call at the Nigeria-Tanzania Business Forum, organised by the Tanzanian High Commission and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Thursday, in Lagos.
Bana said Tanzania remained a choice destination for investments due to its unprecedented political stability and peaceful transfer of power via credible, free and fair elections with almost zero insecurity incidences.
He added that notwithstanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s GDP was projected to grow at 4.7 per cent in 2021 and 5.8 per cent by 2022.
Bana said the country was in the process of introducing direct flights from Dar es Salaam to Lagos, to significantly ease movement of goods, capital and services between the two countries.
“Tanzania is aiming to become an industrialised economy and logistics hub by 2025 and in the spirit of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) we cannot wait to see Nigeria join the league of leading investors in the country,” he said.
Hon Liberata Mulamula, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, United Republic of Tanzania, noted that the country had worked assiduously for over two decades to create a conducive investment environment.
Mulamula said the country offered a wide range of investment opportunities, with guaranteed access to a market of more than 300 million people in Eastern and Southern Africa, where it enjoyed preferential trade arrangements.
She said that mining and tourism had placed the country on the high ranks of African economies in terms of attracting foreign direct investments.
The minister also encouraged investors to take advantage of its various investments opportunities in areas of fisheries, light manufacturing, mining, trade, construction and tourism.
“Tanzania is endowed with a myriad of industrial minerals and precious stones, including aquamarine, ruby, sapphire, tantalite and a host of others and enjoys an abundance of natural wealth, which provides investment opportunities for investors.
“However, most of these resources are being exported in their raw forms without being processed.
“Our country is also engaging, developing and promoting sustainable growth, through its travel and tourism sector with more than 20 national parks, over 200 game reserves, and 42 game controlled areas, 33 wildlife areas, among others.
“The country also has strength in fisheries, with substantial fishing resources ranging from deep sea fishing, fish processing, canning and aquaculture.
“We attract more than one million tourists annually and invite those interested to invest in processes that will add value to the beneficiating of mining products as appropriate,” she said.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, described his company’s experience in Tanzania as one of the best among the African countries where it operated.
He attributed the development to its political stability, with high economic potential and strong social and legal environment to support expansion and trade.
Dangote, represented by Engr Mansur Ahmed, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), noted that the potential for any investor for the greatest growth over the next 50 years across the world was in Africa.
He said the continent had the highest level of resources, population structure and a technology framework that supported investments and growth over a lengthy period of time.
The business mogul also called for the integration of Africa, to secure more investments and improve the continent’s growth prospects.
“Tanzania was one of the first countries we identified, following our analysis that indicated that the country offers one of the best opportunities in Africa.
“The African integration process has been building up very gradually but very steadily and to integrate, we must invest and the growth prospect in Africa is higher than anywhere else.
“Our philosophy for investing in Africa is to build capacity, capability and a business that understands the African market.
“Our investment in Tanzania has been extremely satisfactory and we have seen how very smoothly the transition of government has been and how effective it has been as well.
“Socially, both countries have many things in common and we feel committed to supporting and encouraging our brothers and sisters in the private and public sector to invest in the country, due to the tremendous opportunities it provides.
“Tanzania will soon be a hub of the continental integration of the continent,” he said.
Mrs Toki Mabogunje, President, LCCI, also stressed the need to improve traction of trade and investments between both countries in preparation for the AfCFTA, noting that the trade volume between both countries had been weak over the years.
She added that Nigeria’s status as the continent’s biggest economy and most populous nation presented numerous opportunities for Tanzanian investors willing to establish their presence in the country.
Mabogunje noted that Tanzania’s averaged real Gross Domestic Product growth rate of some six per cent between 2010 and 2019, putting it among the fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with growth expected to return to pre-pandemic level in 2021.
“The Tanzanian economy presents exciting opportunities for Nigerian investors, especially in sectors like livestock, fisheries, light manufacturing, mining, trade construction and tourism, which are high priority sectors for Tanzanian policymakers.
“The Tanzanian business environment is characterised by low and stable inflation, stable exchange rate and supportive macroeconomic and regulatory policies.
“More so, Nigeria’s near and medium-term economic prospects are quite bright with the International Monetary Fund projecting a growth rate of 2.5 per cent and 2.3 per cent in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
“It will interest our Tanzanian counterparts to know that the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) have been doing a lot to make Nigeria an attractive investment destination.
“African countries need to do more business with one another, as this will advance the economic fortunes of the continent, and as a chamber, we reiterate our commitment to the promotion of trade and investments between Nigeria and Tanzania,” she said.