TANZANIANS have been called upon to grab opportunities to sell goods and services to, and teach Kiswahili in Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries as opportunities won’t be delivered on a silver platter.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi made the remarks in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the sidelines of his meeting with Tanzania’s ambassadors to foreign countries.
Prof Kabudi encouraged those who participated in the SADC industrial week to not to shy away from exporting their products to other member countries as most of them were of high quality.
“Tanzanians should not expect the government to hand everything to them; through this summit we have all seen what is available out there for our country; it’s crucial to use this chance now that President John Magufuli is the chairman of the community,” he remarked.
The minister was optimistic that Kiswahili teachers in the country would also apply for posts in other member countries and not wait for the government to give them such opportunities.
Kiswahili was adopted as the fourth official medium of communication within the region during the just ended 39th SADC summit held in Tanzania; other languages being English, Portuguese and French.
Elaborating further on the matter, he said since the government played its part, entrepreneurs should not put their dreams on hold but should instead clear their path toward not only innovation but also exporting their goods and services.
In his opening speech during the meeting, he commended the envoys on their integrity as the country had continued to receive tourists and investors from the various countries in which they worked.
“The government will keep on improving infrastructure for your role to be much easier; you should also convince Tanzania’s diaspora to keep on contributing immensely to development undertakings back home,” he remarked.
A representative of Tanzania envoys abroad, Tanzania Ambassador to Ethiopia, Naimi Azizi, said the meeting that was last conducted in 2016 was crucial as it will assist them in their daily tasks.
“We had an opportunity to tour several key projects in the Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar and through that, we have learned how the country is prepared to attain its goal to become a middle-income country come 2025,” she explained.
According to a report titled ‘Regional economic development in SADC: taking stock and looking ahead’, published by the regional secretariat in August 2018, Sadc trade is low, standing at 25 per cent of potential due to a lack of industrialisation within the region.
The low levels of intra- Sadc trade are said to be due to the lack of diversification of exports, which predominantly centre on minerals, fuels and agricultural produce.
The SADC region with a combined population of 370 million people and a GDP of 607 billion US dollars provides huge potential for investment that could translate into socioeconomic development.