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By. Adela Madyane

Five countries across Lake Tanganyika that held business and investment meeting on 9th to 11th May 2022 in Kigoma region have highlighted 16 key take ways of making cross-border cheaper, easier and faster.

Some of the highlights reached from the second business and investment summit includes Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to strengthen their system to avoid delays, TRA and TPA to enhance the effectiveness of track device to avoid delays, TPA to improve offloading systems and avoid insufficient to reduce penalties to business people as well as Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) and Migration offices to respect clients and improve customer relations.

Adding on the fruitful debates Nzeyimana Djegular a director of planning and investment from TRC said to ease transportation and avoid cargo delays the government of Tanzania has endorsed 12 trillion for construction and repair of railways so as to increase cross border trade between the member countries.

While in Tanzania the extension of railway is on progress Burundi government has also provided in Tsh 200 billion for Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) railway construction in Gitega with the aim of advancing transportation to Dar es Salaam said Reverien Ndikuriyo general secretary of CNDD- FDD political party
Responding on the key highlights David Balema director general representative from Tanzania Bureau Standard (TBS) said reducing barriers of quality check TBS member countries of East African Community(EAC) are guided by grounds of standardization, quality assurance, metrology and testing act of 2006 which all member countries must use in harmonizing standards

We are ready to solve any challenge facing trades in a collective manner, we are ready to serve on online services to ensure one standard, one taste and one certificate to all EAC members to avoid delays and rooms for bureaucracy” Said Balema

Jean Claud Mubalaza Ziboma director governor of South Kivu said, in Congo registering company takes only 3 days but in other countries like Tanzania it takes a long time and ask for these countries to adopt a good way a certain member country is doing to simplify things and when it happens there is a big challenge should be settled together to make things move faster

On his side Abel Nkeyende an acting director of Tanzania Shipping Agency (TASAC) said, in combating the identified challenges under TASAC trades person should follow transportation policy and laws of not mixing up cargoes with passengers for navigation safety and security

Some passengers ignore the facts that it is forbidden to fill passengers marine with cargoes, it is very dangerous and endangers lives, we have been doing public awareness campaign but still there is a challenge with communal understanding, I call upon the government to support us in educating people for we all know what it brings by mixing up” said Nkeyende

Emplacing Flory Okandju Central corridor Executive Director said, they will continue facilitating cross border trade and remove boundaries for the benefits of great economy, provide job opportunities and empower women in countries across Lake Tanganyika.

Richard Makanzo Tanzanian ambossodar in Rwanda said there is good business done between Tanzania and Rwanda whereas a day more than 400 trucks from Tanzania exports goods to Rwanda though on passengers bus the issue is different for they are charged high taxes of 152USD a day regardless of number of passengers contained and thus asking Tanzanian government to review its passengers transport regulation in Rwanda to allow free transport as members of the EAC

On top of that Makanzo is advising TASAC to conduct maritime survey in collaboration with other countries for safety assurance for Lake Tanganyika has no maps and the captains are only using experience

On the side of Tanzania’s Ambassador in Burundi, Jilly Maleko said Burundi is a major trading partner of Tanzania and that the exports has increased by 59.60 percent which is equal $ 77.88 million in the year 2019/2020 and that it has ranked four among the giants trading in Burundi and that this tie should never cut

On his side Tanzanian ambassador in Congo Said Mshana said TRA should clarify of VAT return to Congo business people for out of 10 business people eight do ask on how it works

He also said, when doing business in Congo or in any other member country one have to follow government procedures to avoid robbery and acts of scams. Some of Non government organization are hand in hand making the cross border trade work affectively by reaching the society and empower them economically via agribusiness

Mr. Ayoub Mbezi the Western region PASS manager briefing the Kigoma regional commissioner Thobias Andengenye during the PASS activities at the Economic Forum for the Lake Tanganyika Region

Speaking to some heads of organization from Private Agricultural Sector Support Trust (PASS) the Western Tanzania Zonal Manager Kigoma office that serve Katavi, Tabora and Kigoma Ayoub Mbezi said they are working with about 14 banks to support the increase of finance access to strengthen the development in the agricultural sector.

He said as agriculture contribute 26.9%of country’s economy they had to make sure they support the agriculture value chain so that the beneficiaries can easily penetrate into reliable markets both national and international with the quality products and that’s work hand in hand with monetary agency to make sure beneficiaries never fail their target of development via agriculture

” Working with guarantee partners like CRDB (Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank)TADB, ( National Microfinance Bank) NMB and ( National Bank of Commerce) NBC have contributed to Tsh billion 7 annually which is expected to increase up to Tsh 9 billons next year annually as loans to our beneficiaries, we all intend to increase exportation of Tanzanians goods to countries of DR Congo’ Burundi, Zambia, as well as Rwanda by empowering them economically” said Mbezi

Since its establishment PASS in 2000 has managed to stand as trustee on 1.2 trillion to more than 1.7 entrepreneurs which is equal to 31.4%. of all loans awarded under agricultural sector in 2021.

Mbezi said as Kigoma is a hub of economy in all great lake countries and that her people’ economy greatly depend on lake and agriculture (palm oil, maize, cassava, and beans) be more exported they have to manage strengthen services to 9400 beneficiaries with loan net amount of 4.5 billion for the period of January -May 2022.

On his  side acting manager of the Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), Western Region, Andrew Ezekiel said their aim is to increase farmers production by helping farmers find better storage areas as 30 to 40 percent of undergo post lost

Minister of Regional Administration and Local Government Mr. Innocent Bashungwa (center), Kigoma regional commissioner Thobias Andengenye and Kigoma regional administrative secretary Rashid Mchata during the summit of the Lake Tanganyika Business Forum.

Kigoma regional commissioner Thobias Andengenye while settling some of concerns raised in the meeting he said so far the government is constructing a 260km of tarmac road from Manyovu to Kasulu, Kibondo and Kakonko and there is an ongoing 51km construction of Uvinza road towards Malagarasi.
He said the remained 36 km to connect Kigoma and Tabora region contractors are on duty to be started in the near future

For the case of Lake Tanganyika RC Andengenye said the government is proceeding with the construction and renovation of ships where more than Sh10 billion has been set for the construction of a new ship with a capacity of 600 passengers and 400 tons of cargo.

He said they are also building a single ship capable of carrying 2,300 tons of cargo and repairing the historical Mv Liemba ship, and it is a government initiative that the ship carrying the Mt Sangara oil is revived.

“Strengthening Lake Tanganyika transport means to open up Kigoma economically within and outside Tanzania’s borders and will be a great opportunity for traders to use it for transporting goods and services,” He said

Speaking on railway transport, RC said the construction of the railway from Uvinza district to Msongate in Burundi to DRC had the common agreement are being to start construction on the railway. Regarding electricity, he says efforts to connect it to the national grid are underway, including the construction of a 132KWT power station from Kaliua Tabora to Nguruka in the region.

Not only that, he insists that they have a 400 kwt power line construction from Nyakanazi to Kigoma where by January 2023, Kigoma region will be connected to the national grid.

In the mean time, when addressing the closing remark, President?s Office ? Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) minister Innocent Bashingwa have ordered the regional commissioner (RC) to hand over special economic zone bank land within all 26 Tanzania mainland regions by June 30, 2022.

He said the focus of citing on the special economic zone ( SEZ) and export processing zone (EPZ) is among the ways of attracting more investors into the industrial sector.

RC’s should collaborate with Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) to identify designated areas from councils be easily accessed with investors by creating land map of the areas in every region and not only depending on investors guidelines” said Bashungwa.

The minister added that when the government is extending the railway services to improve transportation of cargo the authorities in business value chain should stop the acts of corruption and high bureaucracy to both investors and business people for that the country’ s economy can reach far.

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