EDITORIAL: Review of investment act must be thorough

Friday December 7 2018

 

One of the government institutions that are decisively crucial to national development is the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC). The Centre was statutorily established in 1997 as the primary public agency to coordinate, encourage, promote and facilitate investment in Tanzania – and to advise the government on investment policy and related matters.

In that regard, TIC deals with all enterprises whose minimum capital investment is not less than $500,000 if foreign-owned – or $100,000 if locally-owned. One oddity here is that enterprises which are engaged in mining and petroleum “shall follow the approval process contained in their respective laws…”

However, the Centre is obliged to assist all such investors in obtaining permits and other authorisations which may be required under other legislation to establish and operate investments in Tanzania.

All those statutory provisions notwithstanding, however – and, despite some commendable achievements in certain areas of its operational jurisdiction – the Investment Centre has in recent times been the target of calls for a review of its operations and legislative frameworks.

As noted in The Citizen’s lead story yesterday, for example, the law governing investments in Tanzania makes it difficult for TIC to effectively coordinate projects related to mining, oil and gas, as well as hazardous chemicals. Furthermore – said the TIC executive director, Mr Geoffrey Mwambe – the Centre faces “various challenges in promoting investments,” effective addressing of which calls for a review of the 1997 Tanzania Investment Act.

But we also say that the proposed review must be thoroughly researched, grounded and comprehensive.

This is to ensure beyond doubt that not only is the final outcome unassailable – but also that Tanzania becomes the preferred investment destination in the charts and indices of development partners and prospective investors alike.