The Embassy of France has revealed that its government supports Tanzania’s vision of becoming an industrialised country through financing support of several sectors as plans are underway to create a new Franco -Tanzania Chamber of Commerce in the country.
French Ambassador, Frederic Clavier said this in an interview with The Citizen this week where he highlighted promising sectors that his government has supported in the endeavor of enabling Tanzania achieve its dream.
“As Tanzania moves towards industrialization, we have decided to come up with a mutual Chamber of Commerce, and, we are working together to attain market for French products here and Tanzanian products in France, in a bid to ensure a win- win relationship that will create jobs while at the same time using all investment opportunities,” he said.
He explained French government plans to invest in the Agriculture sector. There is already a French industry processing cassava products in the country, while at the same time France has invested in the energy and the water sanitation sector.
According to him, the French government has issued at least close to 590 million Euros to Tanzania in the past ten years.
“We have 40 French companies in Tanzania and my job is to empower more Tanzanian companies to invest in France,” he said, adding that they were trying to create more mobility of business between Tanzania and France.
According to him, Tanzania can be a huge platform in the East African Community (EAC) especially as it has many assets, huge capacity taking into consideration its geographical location and being neighbours to French speaking countries.
Political relations between France and Tanzania and its significance to the People
The envoy says the political relation between the two countries has come a long way and that it dates back from the independence of Tanganyika in 1961, and even before a French consul was set in Zanzibar in 1844.
“Despite the distance that separates Tanzania and France, we have always maintained an excellent and trustful relationship, we have aimed at developing and reinforcing a friendship that has proven to be mutually beneficial,” he said.
He said Tanzania is a great country and a major regional power as well as a significant global actor.
According to him, Tanzania has shown its international stature through Mwalimu Nyerere who led the fight for national liberation within the frontline states and, thereafter, by being one of the prominent actors of the African continent and its political institutions.
In view of this, he said that France has always consulted and taken into consideration Tanzania’s position on a great many diplomatic issues. “France greatly values the sincere diplomatic relation our countries have been able to build throughout the years,” he said.
He noted that through the economic relation and development aid provided by the French Development Agency (AFD) the French government supported Tanzania’s goal to become a middle income country by 2025.
He said that the Embassy and its structures ensures that all opportunities are exploited and that was why recently he met with Bongo Flava artiste Diamond Platinumz who flew to Paris for a video shooting of his latest song Inama, and, Alikiba who went to France for a Concert.
Ambassador Clavier also discussed their career aspirations as well as the charity work of both singers in supporting communities as a great way to give back to those who have helped in supporting their businesses.
Sectors most promising in Tanzania
He said since the 2000s Tanzania has been experiencing high economic growth rates and France is ready to engage in various areas to support the country’s strategy of industrialization.
“Tanzania is at a turning point in its history, as it is expected to evolve from a least developed country to a middle income country within the next few years,” He named four sectors essential for that turn around:
Tanzania has ratified the Paris Agreement in April 2016 and confirmed its clear willingness to meet the targets to reduce carbonic gas in order to limit temperature increase and protect the environment.
In the same context, the government needs to speed up the deployment of renewable energies and favor natural gas. Adding that, the French companies are partners in the oil sector (downstream). Total Group is expected soon to deploy the EACOP pipeline to Tanga Port; Engie or ED are also expected to build power plants; Aetelia could assist Tanzania in conceiving hydroelectric dams.
The sector must be supported to improve the mobility of persons and the exchange of goods. France has been Tanzania’s partner in the transport sector for few decades now.
AFD issued a loan in the 1980’s for the construction of Julius Nyerere International Airport, and the construction of the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar was realized by Sogea Satom.
He noted that Precision Air fleet is composed of franco- Italian aircrafts, while France has been building with Tanzania the delivery of four top technology radars to Tanzania by Thales in 2017, to ensure safety and reliability of the country’s airports.
The sector employs 70 percent of the workforce and contributes almost 30 per cent to the GDP. It is the second key sector in which French companies are expected to significantly invest in order to contribute to poverty reduction, food security and resilience to climate change.
“Early this year in April, I and Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa inaugurated in the village of Mbalala the cassava flour production plant of the French company Cassava Starch of Tanzania Corporation. The plant will soon give jobs to 700 employees and 80 percent of them from Tanzania while in Moshi region a French–Mauritian company named TPC emerged as one of the top sugar producers in Tanzania employing on a permanent basis 1900 workers and 1100 seasonal workers,” he said.
He said that the Embassy has also provided a $1 million grant to a five year project on agro- ecology that will help 6000 small holder farmers to increase their productivity through new affordable farming practices.
He noted that the development of Infrastructure is also a key step towards achieving industrialization as existing constraints to access basic services affect productivity. AFD has in ten years supported the government build reliable infrastructure with finance of 257 million euros for improvement to access to water and sanitation and 278 million euros in the energy sector between 2009 and 2018.
The main vehicles of French cooperation in Tanzania
The Embassy of France implements an ambitious policy to promote partnerships between the Tanzania and French universities, and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) as well as the Agricultural Research center for International Development (CIRAD). The embassy also offers scholarships for Masters and PHD to Tanzanian students.
They have been offering French education in Dar es Salaam for decades now. More than 340 pupils are registered in 2019 and the figure is expected to increase with the opening of a new campus in Msasani in June this year.
What does Bastille, celebration of the French Revolution of 1789, represent to the French people and the world?
According to Frederic Clavier, “Bastille Day aims at celebrating the victory of the people against injustice and the sovereignty of the whole nation replacing the sovereignty of one. The day marked the turning point of the French revolution and of the history of the French nation. It shaped the country and political culture, but also influenced a large part of the world.”
Its origin are to be found in the storming by the Parisian people of the medieval fortress and prison “The Bastille” July 14, 1789. The prison embodying the political oppression and the arbitrariness of the monarchy was completely destroyed within five month.
Since 1789 and beyond France borders, Bastille day has become an occasion of reminding the world that France never stops to defend its core values of liberty, equality, fraternity- the three words that form the French national motto. “In this sense, indicates the Ambassador, France’s and Tanzania’s values share many common points, thus enabling an excellent comprehension and cooperation between our two countries.”