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US $6 billion manufacturing sector project launched

Map of Tanzania

Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa laid on Tuesday a foundation stone for a gigantic US $6-billion project aimed at accelerating growth and reducing poverty in the East African country.

The project is named after the country's outgoing president in recognition of his efforts in building a modern economy and fighting poverty over the last 10 years in line with the National Growth and Poverty Reduction Programme.

"The project will enhance industrial growth and create at least 20,000 jobs within the next 15 years," said Enos Bukuku, permanent secretary of planning and privatisation in the president's office.

He said the project was being implemented under a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and designed to attract increased foreign direct investment through provision of various incentives, including handsome fiscal packages to would-be investors.

"The SEZ marks the beginning of the implementation of Tanzania's Mini-Tiger Plan 2020, a national vehicle for promotion of rapid economic growth and development," he added.

Bukuku said 30,000 hectares of land had been allocated to the project in Dar es Salaam, and the plan would be scaled up later to cover all 26 regions of the country.

The Mini-Tiger Plan aims to create new jobs, Bukuku said, and increase the country's GDP from around $10 billion at present to about $40 billion by 2020. The scheme would also boost the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP from 7 percent at present to about 25 percent in 2020.

Analysts say lack of industrial development frustrates Tanzania's prosperity. The country has to survive on exporting raw agricultural crops such as coffee, cashews and cotton, which fetch low prices in international markets.

Bukuku said Tanzania government would strive to make available space for investors, as well as reliable supply of power and water to SEZ.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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