By Shermarx Ngahemera,
Cheerio Tanzanians on industrialization agenda! The financial storm is over as the Chinese are committed to assisting the country to realize its dream of industrialization.
Their ambassador in the country Dr Lu Youqing has underscored the importance of Tanzania adopting the industrialization drive and assured the country has nothing to lose but the endemic poverty.
“Industrialization is the only sure way of achieving expeditious development through value additions, employment creation, innovations and infrastructure service development,” he said.
However, he cautioned the bureaucrats to be resilient and firm on the challenges on the way waiting the Tanzanians as many countries in the west will discourage them out of envy and the fact that it is China and not them doing the needful.
“You are lucky you have a friend in the mode of People’s Republic of China that is wholeheartedly behind you in realizing your dreams and advance in the industrial economy,” observed Dr Lu Youqing who assured the lieutenants of industrialization in Tanzania, the 14 elite government establishments and stakeholders adding;”China government is firm on its resolve and commitments to oversee industrialization in the country as a matter of priority to his country and credit to engage the African continent.
“We have selected four countries in Africa to be representative of Chinese Industrialization Initiative including Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana,” he noted.
“The Tanzania choice was not made out of pity and the subsisting long good bilateral relations but also Tanzania as a country has some attributes that make it important to be an insider in any major economic venture concerning African development,” he said adding, “It is a choice of its own merits and should be confident in whatever it wants to achieve.”
“In fact,” he said, “ we need it more than you do to prove to the West that we can do industrialization in Africa when they failed to do it to prove our ability and commitment to the continent by removing the negative perception being promoted that China is in Africa to exploit and not develop it.
“The mutual benefit is a concept and Chinese vocabulary in international relations but the West is using it to its advantage and that way undermines China’s interests.”
He underscored the geopolitical preeminence of Tanzania through its membership in East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC); Tanzania is a gateway to 26 countries economies. It means business to whoever invests here!
Moreover, Tanzania is politically stable and has a lot of natural resources and minerals that could be used as raw materials for the planned industrialization for both chemical and metallurgy.
“It has good relations with many countries globally and for the past decade the GDP growth is 13.5 percent and not 6.5 percent as alleged by the West. It is the highest in the world,” he said.
Dr Lu amplified the importance of having confidence in one’s undertaking and he believes Tanzanians are capable of doing it because are organized and feedback from Ministry of Education in China is positive citing Tanzanian students leading in education institutions in China compared to other students from Africa and are committed to learn which is an asset in industrialization by acquiring technology and innovation.
“In this regard I’m happy to announce to you that our government is going to honour all contracts including Mchuchuma and Liganga Iron and Coal metallurgy, construction of the Central Corridor Railway and its extensions, the Chinese industrial park at Kurasini and the Mega Bagamoyo Port and the Industrial City Construction.”
He said these developments are set for beginning soon and urged Tanzanian partners to be in the same zeal and speed.
“Mchuchuma is to be launched soon while Bagamoyo Port in August will be initiated and expectations that people would have been paid their necessary compensations and so are people of Kurasini for the planned industrial and business centre there.”
Convincingly Ambassador Lu said: “I repeat in Bagamoyo we are going to build an industrial city in full to make it a showcase to others.
The ambassador was responding to reflections and requests at the Follow up of Seminar on China Tanzania Industry and Technology Transfer and Cooperation at the Economic and Commercial Representative office in Tanzania last week, that was co chaired by Lin Zhiyong, the chief Representative and Dr Adehelm Meru the Permanent Secretary of MITI.
Lu went farther by revealing that of the three East African countries of Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania they are more confident with Tanzania that seems to be the best of all.
“But the two want to surpass us we should not allow that and do better by being aggressive and having closer contact by establishing structures and organization to step up cooperation,” he appealed.
In a rejoinder Dr Meru noted that the industrialization drive has been the brainchild of the CCM party and its government in the Vision 2025 and was planned to be implemented in three phases 2012 to 2026 and thus deep rooted in the government machinery but the impetus has been provided by the Fifth Phase Government by acquiring the right development mix including industrialization objectives, infrastructure and innovation working jointly and severally.
He said the aim was to build the economy from a least developed country (LDC)status to middle income through sustainable industrial policy (SIDC).
In attendance were government establishment including Dr Adelhem Meru, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Abdallah Kilima Director Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Elisante Mbwilo Assistant Director President’s Office Public Service Management and Good Governance, Zacharia Kingu Investment Promotion Manager Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) and Louis Accaro Director Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TSPF).
Other participants were representatives from Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment (MITI) consulting sectors including Tanzania Industrial Research Development Organization (TIRDO) Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA), National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) and the National Development Corporation (NDC) Managing Director Mlingi Elisha Mkucha. It seems NDC will hold the mantle to spearhead industrialization. It has a long history on that.
Dr Meru said they was long term agenda of 15 years 2012 to 2026 and short agenda of five years development plans in three sequence of five years culminating into the Vision 2025 of becoming a middle income economy.
Key industrial projects
The iron and steel metallurgical complex has two major projects including the Liganga Iron ore and sponge iron products
The Liganga Iron Ore project is located in Ludewa District, about 850 km Southwest of Dar es Salaam. It is the biggest iron ore resources identified in the country with the proven reserve of 126 million tones.
The iron ore deposited in Liganga is known as Vanado-Titanium Magnetite. Iron ore is a resource for steel manufacturing industries and other ferrous based industries. The project is being developed by Tanzania China International Mineral Resources Ltd (TCIMRL) as an integrated project with Mchuchuma.
TCIMRL, which is a joint venture company between NDC and Sichuan Hongda Group of China, will invest USD 1.8 billion at Liganga for establishment of 2.9 mt/y iron ore mine and Iron and steel Complex to produce 1.0 mt/y of iron and steel products, vanadium pentoxide and titanium dioxide following successfully bankable feasibility study.
The Liganga project is expected to start operation by 2018/19.
Sponge Iron Product
The sponge iron plant will be established in Ludewa district utilizing iron ore from Maganga Matitu (part of Liganga) and coal from Katewaka to produce sponge iron.
Maganga Matitu Resource Development Limited (MMRDL) is implementing the project and the shareholders are NDC and MM Steel Resources Public Limited Company (MMSR PLC). Project due diligence and bankable document are being finalized.
The project intends to establish a 400,000 tpa of Sponge Iron Plant that will be used to produce 300,000 tons of iron and steel products per year. Production is expected to start in 2018/19.