Speaker of Tanzania’s National Assembly, Anne Makinda, spoke to the Times of Oman during a recent visit to the Sultanate of her country’s interest in deepening historical ties with the to encourage great investment by Omani companies in agricultural and geological resources.
“Our long historical ties should go beyond what we commonly share and business investment is one way to strengthen these,” she said. “We look forward to Omani firms taking part in our economic development and promise a transparent business environment.”
Referencing the agricultural sector, Makinda highlighted the “abundance” of agricultural products in Tanzania, where around 77% of the population still depend on arable agricultural and livestock, and the scope for profitable investment and scaling by Omani businesses.
The agriculture of coffee, tea, cloves, maize, wheat, rice, cashew nuts, vegetables and fruits contributes 41% of Tanzania’s GDP, while the husbandry of cattle, sheep and goats accounts for 29%, according to statistics issued by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Beyond these dominant agricultural areas, Makinda also highlighted of Tanzania’s coastline, which stretches for 1,450km and hold an aquaculture potential of 730,000 tonnes annually.
Shrimp farming is in the experimental stage in Tanzania and the government had invited investors to develop its commercial value, while Lake Victoria is one of the largest lakes in the world at 53,000km2 where the country is promoting the fresh water farming of trout.
“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 we have sound fiscal and legal system to protect all investors in this important industry,” Makinda pointed out.
Indeed, 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.
Makinda also referenced the gas sector, where Oman and Tanzania has similar exploration activities, noting: “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.”
In the hydrocarbon sector, Tanzania doubled the estimates of its gas reserves to 40 trillion cubic feet in 2015, after sizeable ongoing discoveries, and the country preparing to offer new exploration blocks by the end of this year to international energy companies.
The two governments also agreed to set up a joint investment council and a council of businessmen to promote and facilitate bilateral developments.