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Feb 11, 2007
Japanese investors expected `very soon`...

2008-06-02 09:12:10
By Lusekelo Philemon

Tanzania will ``very soon`` witness the influx of Japanese investors in sectors like agriculture, infrastructure, minerals, science and technology, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe has said.

Briefing journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the minister said Japan announced at the just-ended fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama that it would double its assistance to Africa in general and Tanzania in particular.

He explained that the key areas Japanese investors are eyeing include agriculture, chiefly the production of fertilisers using raw materials available in Tanzania.

The move would help arrest the skyrocketing of the world market price of fertilizers, he noted.

``Price hikes have been negatively affecting farmers in sub-Saharan Africa who heavily rely on imported fertilisers because locally produced varieties have failed to meet the county�s demand,`` stated Membe.

He added that Tanzania was endowed with all the raw materials that could be used in producing fertilisers ``which could meet the country`s demand and enable the production of a surplus for sale in neighbouring countries at a reasonable price if heavily invested``.

Citing examples, Membe said there were abundant deposits of phosphate at Minjingu and Ammonia, a by-product of gas, at Mnazi Bay and Mtwara in southern Tanzania.

``These are excellent raw materials that fertiliser manufacturers need,`` he stated, adding that overhead irrigation and quality seeds of agricultural produce were yet other areas the Japanese private sector were interested in.

``The idea is to increase food production in Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa. The Japanese have already shown immense interest in investing in large-scale paddy farming,`` elaborated the minister.

He explained that Japan has pledged to direct more assistance into paddy farming to help double rice production to an annual 28 million tonnes by 2018.

Turning to the development of science and technology, Membe said Japanese investors have promised to invest in prospecting for precious metals like nickel, cobalt and iron for use in the manufacture of electronics.

Cobalt is widely used in super-alloys in the production of jet engines, chemicals, magnets and cemented carbides for cutting tools.

Major cobalt producing countries include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Canada, Cuba, Australia and Russia.

``The Japanese have also shown interest in improving road and railways networks, rehabilitating ports and establishing new ports in Tanzania,`` the minister pointed out.

``They have also expressed readiness to work on the Oysterbay Substation electricity project in Dar es Salaam and to finance Bagamoyo Road expansion project work from the Kawawa Road junction right to Mpiji,`` he added.

Japan has further pledged to offer training opportunities for 100,000 health experts from African countries alongside building 5,500 classrooms in 1,000 primary schools and offering training opportunities for mathematics and science teachers across the continent.

The Yokohama summit also saw Japan come up with $10bn in assistance for a so-called Cool Earth Partnership meant to deal with issues related to climate change � and a further $10m to support Africa on relief food.

According to Membe, President Jakaya Kikwete has already ordered all the ministries responsible to work on the proposed Japanese goodwill gestures, with a view to coming up with workable action plans.

In his keynote address at the TICAD summit, President Kikwete called on Japanese investors to invest in Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa.

``For the Japanese investors, Africa is a far-off land and too risky to invest in,`` he said, adding that not only was a reversal of the trend necessary but change was quite possible.

The President explained that Africa was obliged to go the extra mile and convince the Japanese investors that it would pay for them to invest in Africa.

Opening the Yokohama summit, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda pledged a doubling of development assistance to Africa by providing $4bn in soft loans over the next five years.

He said the funds would be used to develop Africa`s infrastructure, particularly road networks, where he said there was some progress but still ``many missing links``.

Meanwhile, Membe said the government plans to hold more annual international conferences like the Eighth Sullivan Summit opening in Arusha today ``as one way of advertising Tanzania`s economic and other potential to the international community and thus boosting the country`s economy``.

He said implementation of the new arrangement could get going beginning next year, adding: ``Big international conferences like this (Sullivan Summit) play an important role in boosting countries` economic development.

They are significant avenues enabling foreign investors to know about the potential different countries have for investment.�

Membe further explained that the government was looking at ``conference diplomacy`` as one way of boosting foreign exchange earnings and improving the nation`s economy.

Under the proposed arrangement, the international conferences would be held in different regions in the country on a rotational basis.

``We will hold the conferences on a regional basis. If this year it is in Arusha, for instance, next year it might be in Mwanza or elsewhere,`` he said.

Giving an update on the five-day Eighth Sullivan Summit, he said the 1,500-plus delegates from Washington, DC, and all other core ones had arrived for the landmark event by yesterday.

He said the presidents of seven African countries were due in any time ready for the official opening.

They would include Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, who was expected to be accompanied by business delegates.

More than 6,000 people from different parts of the world are expected to attend the summit, which analysts say is has little record in Tanzania`s history.

SOURCE: Guardian
tatizo liko wapi ?? wabongo wenyewe wooote mmehamia majuu na hamtaki kuinvest, kazi kukaa vijiweni, na mkiwa bongo hamtaki kuinvest mnakimbilia kwenye siasa (muone mnyika) halafu akiwa mzee ataanza kulilia pensheni wakati muda wa kuwekeza anao sasa hivi !! kweli akili ni nywele na kila mtu ana zake, na sie vipara sijui itakuwaje !

mie naona safi tu acha foreigners waje kuwekeza, watz tumekuwa too slow mayne !
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