Imports surpass local products

Low production capacity by local manufacturers and closure of some factories have caused Tanzania to depend on imported goods to meet its needs.

This does not go down well for a country that plans to become a middle-income nation in the next twelve years as per the country’s Vision 2025.

The development vision seeks to transform the country’s economy from one of low productivity and based on agriculture to a semi-industrialised one that well integrates with the mechanised agricultural sector.

But the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) director of Policy and Research, Mr Hussein Kamote, said in Mwanza recently that imported goods now account for a bigger share of what the country consumes.

He said currently, the country imports 50 per cent of corrugated iron sheets. It also imports 70 per cent of natural juice and 80 per cent of pharmaceutical products.

The situation is even worse in the textile, dry cells and tyres industries whereby nearly a 100 per cent of the stocks are imported to meet the country’s demands.

Mr Kamote said closure of some industries and lack of proper legal mechanisms and political will to control an influx of imports into the markets has resulted into the current state of affairs.

“The situation is really worrying because we lose a lot and are highly exposed to counterfeit products,” said Mr Kamote, when delivering his presentation is Mwanza to Investigative Business Environmental Journalists (Ibej) trainees.

Ibej is a programme, run by Best–AC in collaboration with Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (Ansaf) and St Augustine University of Tanzania, which aims at imparting skills to journalists for better analysis and reporting of business news.

Mr Kamote said there is need for critical analysis of business environment in Tanzania so that the hindrances inhibiting investments are revealed and efforts be subjected towards addressing them.

Tanzania has started taking some steps to enhance its local manufacturing through reviving closed industries like General Tyre East Africa of Arusha which was closed in 2009.
Source: The Citizen, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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