OPENING SPEECH BY HON. KASSIM MAJALIWA MAJALIWA (MP), PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA DURING THE TANZANIA – JAPAN PUBLIC – PRIVATE QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE CONFERENCE HELD AT HYATT REGENCY - KILIMANJARO HOTEL IN DAR ES SALAAM ON 14TH JANUARY, 2016
Honourable Takatoshi Nishiwaki, Vice Minister for Lands, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of the Government of Japan;
Your Excellency Masaharu Yoshida, Ambassador of Japan in Tanzania;
Honourable Eng. Edwin Amandus Ngonyani (MP), Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication;
Honourable Batilda Burian, Ambassador of Tanzania in Japan;
Honourable Permanent Secretaries;
Government Officials from both Tanzania and Japan;
Private Sector Members from both Tanzania and Japan;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
First and foremost I would like to express my appreciation to the organizers of this conference for extending an invitation to me to officiate the opening of the conference on Tanzania - Japan Public - Private Quality Infrastructure. This is a very important day for our two countries of Tanzania and Japan where as just in a few hours to come, delegates from both countries will be able to share and exchange their experience in the aspect of Quality Infrastructure.
On behalf of the people and Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and on my own behalf, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of you to Dar es Salaam. Also I wish to extend a special welcome to all foreign delegates to Tanzania the land of Kilimanjaro and Spice Island of Zanzibar.
This conference on Public–Private Quality Infrastructure is a manifestation of strong cooperation between our countries and it provides an opportunity for experienced Contractors, Consultants, Business and Trading companies and Engineers from Japan to exchange and share experiences and technology as well as networking with Tanzanian companies.
Tanzania is one of the fastest growing economies in the African continent whereby the average GDP growth in the last five years has been about 7 percent. It shares borders with eight countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique whereby out of the eight neighbours, six are land linked. Due to this strategic geographical location of Tanzania, the Port of Dar es Salaam is a major international gateway to these Land linked countries. Furthermore, other transport infrastructure in Tanzania such as roads, railways, airports and pipelines play a vital role in facilitation of trade and transport between the country and its neighbouring countries.
Tanzania also participates in regional co-operation and trade through the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and EAC-SADC-COMESA Tripartite Free Trade Area. All these give Tanzania a special opportunity as land located area for a good infrastructural and construction business.
Over the recent years, the Governments of Tanzania and Japan have been working together in a number of programmes which aimed at strengthening co-operation and improve socio – economic development of our people. Japan, that has a state-of-the-art technology and experience in infrastructure development, has been of great help in assisting Tanzania develop its infrastructure.
To achieve sustainable economic growth, the Government of Tanzania has put forward various guiding policies and programmes as a key tool to attain desired goals and objectives. These policies and programmes include Tanzania National Development Vision 2025, National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP II) known in Kiswahili as MKUKUTA II, Transport Sector Investment Programme (TSIP) and Long Term Perspective Plan, Five Year Development Plan.
Also we have Election Manifesto for the Ruling Party, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy, the Construction Industry Policy, National Transport Policy and National Information and Communication Technologies Policy.
Strategic location for land locked countries
As mentioned before, Tanzania is a transportation gateway to six land linked countries namely: Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, the Government of Tanzania aims at improving its roads, railways, airways, waterways, pipelines and Information Communication Technologies (ICT) networks in order to facilitate growth of national economy as well as facilitation of transport and trade with these countries.
Regarding transport sector and infrastructure, Tanzania has a total of 87,581 km of classified road network. Due to available policies and various initiatives implemented by the Government, in the last ten years (2005-2015) a total length of 17,762 kilometers of roads were at various stages of implementation.
Currently, Tanzania has two railway systems; Central Line with a network length of 2,706 km and Tanzania – Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) system with a length of 975 km. Regarding ports, there is a number of sea ports on the 700 km long Indian Ocean coastline with major ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara and inland ports of Mwanza, Bukoba, Kemondo Bay, Musoma, Kigoma, Kasanga Port, Itungi and Mbamba Bay.
Tanzania has major airports namely: Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Zanzibar and Mwanza. Also there is a total of 368 aerodromes which serve air transport in the country. Pipeline transport in Tanzania is used to transport crude oil products from Dar es Salaam to Ndola refinery in Zambia, with total distance of 1,750 km. Pipelines comprise transport of gas from Songosongo to Dar es Salaam (232 km) and from Mnazi Bay (Mtwara) to Dar es Salaam (542 km).
ICT Policy and Infrastructure
The government acknowledges the broadband readiness by implementing a National ICT Infrastructure Development programme guided by the National ICT Policy of 2003 which is now in extensive review to meet current demands of technology. The Government has made significant progress in enabling more use of ICT through improving National Broadband connectivity envisaging massive use of ICT services.
Through our National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) we are already connected to two major submarine cables of SEACOM (July, 2009) and EASSy (April, 2010) extending the connectivity to the neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya through high capacity cross-border virtual stations.
Conducive Business Environment
The Government of Tanzania has already put in place conducive business environment to enable investors establish their businesses in the country. For instance, establishment of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has provided a significant impact for investment in the country.
Our expectation from this conference is for local companies to conduct situation analysis and learn from Japanese companies. I believe that the learning process would be effective if joint ventures would be formulated between local companies and Japanese companies; by doing so, local companies will be able to enhance technical and managerial skills as well as innovative capacity.
On the Government side, there is a number of infrastructure projects that have been identified for implementation under traditional and PPP arrangements. When bids for these projects are advertised we urge Japanese Companies to use that opportunity to bid in Joint Venture with Local Firms. It is our hope and desire that holding of this conference will translate into improved partnerships and increased trade between the two countries.
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have been told that there will be a business matching whereby delegates will have an opportunity to meet one by one, sharing and exchanging ideas. It is necessary for Tanzanian companies and business people to take advantage of the opportunities emerging from this conference. Let us aim towards having quality infrastructure that will boost the economy. Transport Infrastructure is key for agricultural activities, trade, gas, coal and iron industries.
Private Sector contribution to the investment especially on roads construction and transport in general is crucial and big value in improving the life standard of our people. It is my expectation that through this conference delegates will come up with ways in which transfer of technology can be effectively carried out in order to eventually have a competent and innovative workforce and for the wellbeing of our people.
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, let me once again thank the organizers of this conference for inviting me to officiate the opening of this important conference. With these remarks I now have the honour to declare that the conference on Tanzania-Japan Public-Private Quality Infrastructure is officially opened.
Thank you for your attention.