Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is in final stages of drafting a private sector development policy and strategy which seeks to create a conducive business environment among businesses.
Stakeholders say such a policy is crucial if the country is to attain its middle income status come the year 2025.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) Executive Director Godfrey Simbeye said the private sector is characterised by many challenges which can only be solved with a strong policy statement.
“We believe the policy will address issues that range from poor infrastructure, multiple taxes, lack of business capital and policy instability…the policy will guide the private sector on how to operate,” said Mr Simbeye.
The policy will also include the issue of dialogue between the government and private sectors. “Currently, the government meets us when it so wishes to…. the aim is to make this compulsory so that we meet with the government according to stipulated policy,” he said.
TPSF also wants the government to make it compulsory for all businesses to be members of the umbrella association.
This, among other things, will help to track businesses and help them to formalize.
For his part Mugisha Kamugisha said that if Tanzania is aiming to be a middle income country - with a per capital income of $3,000 – come 2025, the economy must be able to grow by about 15 per cent.
An agricultural stakeholder, who introduced himself by only one name Mr Karega said that the agriculture sector is failing to grow because of policy uncertainty which makes investment in agriculture unpredictable. He said that stabilizing policies and making them more predictable is key to encouraging investment in the agriculture sector.
“The government also needs to guarantee investors by ensuring that investors have access to market, once this is guaranteed investment in the agriculture sector will flourish,” said Mr Kirega.