Tanzania is planning to merge three investment bodies to attract foreign direct investment and spur industrialisation.
The government has endorsed a proposal to merge the National Development Corporation (NDC), Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and Economic Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) to make it easy for investors to set up shop in the country.
The structure of the new entity has not been finalised, but it is likely to borrow from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
NDC board chairman Dr Samuel Nyantahe said: “It has been agreed in principle that it would be much easier for people to do business or invest in the country if these entities were merged.”
EPZA is the principal government agency for promoting investments in Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The authority operates as an autonomous agency under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and is mandated to promote, register and facilitate investments in SEZs in mainland Tanzania.
The EPZA’s functions include the development of EPZ and SEZ infrastructure, provision of business services to EPZ and SEZ investors and issuing of EPZ and SEZ licences. Since their inception in 2008, the EPZs and SEZs have generated $1 billion.
Role of private sector
TIC was established in 1997 by the Tanzania Investment Act to be “the primary agency of the government to co-ordinate, encourage, promote and facilitate investment in Tanzania and to advise the government on investment and related matters.”
The merger has been pushed by the private sector to help boost industrialisation as the country seeks a middle-income economy status.
Tanzania Private Sector Foundation executive director Godfrey Simbeye endorsed the proposal, saying it could help private sector to attract funds from foreign investors.
NDC’s activities are informed by the need to implement the National Development Vision 2025, which guides the country’s economic and social development strategies to make Tanzania a middle-income country.