There is excitement in the air over President Samia Suluhu assumption of power in Tanzania with pundits putting their money on improved intra trade within the East African Community.
The formation of a new ministry of Investment and her warning to Tanzania Revenue Authority to stop a crackdown on the private sector and other tax defaulters, are two major events that could signal a shift in trade policy change.
“We are excited at what we are witnessing unfold in Tanzania. President Samia is a member of the EAC Heads of State summit. We support any vision that transforms Tanzania or the EAC,” said Dr Peter Mathuki, incoming EAC secretary general and CEO, East African Business Council.
The clamour for press freedom received a boast on Tuesday when President Suluhu ordered the lifting of a ban to media outlets.
President Suluhu has hinted at major changes in the country’s response to Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Magufuli had promoted herbal remedies for Covid-19, rejected vaccines, refused to release any data on confirmed cases and claimed to have eliminated the virus from his country last year, isolating further Tanzania from the rest of the world.
Only last month, after many top officials had died or become ill, did he acknowledge that the virus was still circulating.
In Parliament, excited MPs called on the president to review the country’s stand on a new constitution of whose task force she deputised.
Just 25 days in office, President Suluhu has repositioned the private sector as the engine for economic growth and castigated TRA’s approach to collecting taxes for driving away investors.
She expressed concern that the ports authority had not accounted for about Tsh4 billion ($1.8 million) following an audit and directed the Ministry of Investment to crack down on corruption.
She immediately instructed the newly formed Investment ministry to avoid past mistakes where investors were forced to hire Tanzania nationals as CEOs further driving investments elsewhere.
President Suluhu took issue with immigration and trade authorities who in their role to license new companies deliberately delay in the issuing of work permits ostensibly to solicit for bribes.