Tanzania seeks Omani investment in agriculture and minerals

Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Anne Makinda
Times of Oman | 26 October 2014

Tanzania seeks Omani investment in agriculture and minerals


Muscat: Tanzania hopes its deep historical ties with the Sultanate will encourage Omani companies to invest in agriculture and mineral resources in the East African country.

During her visit to Oman last week, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Anne Makinda, told the Times of Oman that her country was keen to promote opportunities for business between the two countries and asked local companies to consider tapping into her country's rich resources.

"Tanzania has abundant agricultural products, including a wide variety of crops. It is a very fertile country. We are also keen to promote investments in the livestock and I am sure Omani business people will find these two areas very profitable," said Anne Makinda.

About 77 per cent of Tanzania's population of 49 million people depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihood. Agriculture contributes 41 per cent of the country's GDP, while livestock accounts for about 29 per cent, according to statistics issued by UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Crops grown in Tanzania include coffee, tea, cloves, maize, wheat, rice, cashew nuts, vegetables and fruits. Animal husbandry of cattle, sheep and goats is also a chief earner for nearly 30 million Tanzanians.

"The Tanzanian food industry that Omani business companies can tap into is not only confined to what is grown on the field or livestock but the fishing industry as well. This is another area we are keen to develop with Oman and build a good investment environment that will benefit both the countries," Makinda stressed.

Marine wealth
The Tanzania coastline stretches for 1,450km with the fisheries potential of 730,000 metric tonnes per year. Its sea is rich with much-in-demand lobsters, prawns and a variety of tropical fishes.  Shrimp farming is in the experimental stage in Tanzania and the government has already invited private companies to acquire plots to farm this type of seafood. The country also has a vast untapped potential in fresh water fish farming. It has one of the largest lakes in the world, spread over 53,000 square kilometres. It is currently promoting trout farming and is looking for more investors to take advantage in this much sought after sector.

"Another area we would like Oman to make investments in is our mineral resources. Tanzania has one of the most prospective minerals in Africa and our policies are flexible and very business friendly for investors. On top of that, we have sound fiscal and legal system to protect all investors in this important industry," Makinda pointed out.

Tanzania has become one of the fastest-emerging gold producers in Africa, and is now the continent's third largest gold producing country after South Africa and Ghana. It also has limited diamonds but abundant reserves of nickel, copper, uranium and platinum. But what Tanzania and Oman have in common are their gas exploration programmes.

"We can tap each other's strength in gas since both the countries are conducting explorations aggressively. We can share experiences and investments in this crucial energy business," Makinda said.

Last year Tanzania had said that its gas reserves will double up in 2015 to 40 trillion cubic feet, thanks to recent new discoveries. The country now prepares to offer new exploration blocks by the end of this year to international energy companies.

"Our long historical ties should go beyond what we commonly share and the business investments is one way to strengthen these. We look forward to Omani companies taking part in our economic development and promise a transparent business environment for the benefit of our two countries," Makinda concluded.

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Original source: Times of Oman

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