The 39th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit, which was hosted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for two days saw the participation of 16- member states, delegates, and other invited guests.
The summit which took place on August 17th and 18th saw the Tanzanian President, Hon. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli assuming Chairmanship of SADC for one year till August 2020, indicating another signal of faith to the president and his regime in steering the bloc to the right socio-economic and political direction.
As one of the largest economies in Africa, prior to the summit Tanzania via its Ministry of Industry and Trade hosted the 4th SADC Industrialization week, whereby more than 2000 people registered for the exhibitions.
Noted by a local media outlet, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Eng. Stella Manyanya said that almost 1,766 of the participants were Tanzanians and 938 were exhibitors. Participants also had the liberty to visit industries in the commercial capital.
In a later interview with a digital media outlet, Deputy Minister commented on the exhibition to be a key factor in stimulating inter-trade which sparks more job creation to the youth and revitalizing resource mobilization across the region.
SADC bloc has more than 327 million people with various economical capacities. Tanzania stands to make beneficial steps economically from the collective efforts of the bloc.
Also Read: Tanzania: President Magufuli Launches SADC
Enhancing the Local Economy
According to the 2019 African Economy Outlook, Tanzania has political stability, natural resources, geographical location and tourism are key opportunities for Tanzania to grow economically.
Agriculture is one the leading employer, foreign exchange earner and food source in Tanzania, contributing 29.1 percent to the GDP according to available data. In the context of the new agreement and signed protocols focusing on industrialization, downplaying importation costs, Tanzania could revitalize its economy tremendously, through exporting its top-earning crops: maize, potatoes, beans, and sorghum within the region.
In recall of the remark, President Magufuli made during the summit after assuming chairmanship, around 2.5 tons of crops as surplus were hanging waiting for market, while other bloc-nations sought to import foodstuff abroad.
Through Tanzania’s geographical location, which gives it a vantage point to harness strategic access to other neighboring trading nations in all four cardinal points. Lucrative trading relations can be forged that attract forex necessary for Tanzania’s growth and SADC’s at large.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) places Tanzania at the 7th spot as Africa’s largest economy, which exports agricultural and mineral materials as raw materials abroad. The latter being a matter of interest in the summit, via collective effort member states could capitate Tanzania improve its balance of trade, rejuvenate its collective GDP and germinate necessary conditions for realizing an industrialized SADC.
Tanzania’s Transport and Storage Infrastructure
Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics 2019 first-quarter highlights, show the transport and storage sector to grow by 11.1 compared to 8.8 in the corresponding quarter in 2018. This was attributed by transporting freight, passengers by rail, road, air, water, and pipeline.
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and important piece in Tanzania’s industrialization strategy, may yield good benefits under the right economic circumstances in the bloc. The railway corridor is operated by two SADC nations (Tanzania and Zambia), connect human capital necessary for trading, social services and moves bulk throughout the regions.
Dar es Salaam port serves other landlocked members states Malawi and DRC. Elimination of trading barriers such as taxes and logistical costs, would impact significantly trade and boost not only Tanzania’s economy but also stimulate trade in the bloc.
Tanzania has also boosted its aviation industry, by buying new modern aircraft, secured necessary safety accreditation and launched other new flights across the world, who knows how the Tanzanian aviation industry might transform the transportation sector and rejuvenate lost billions.