• Tanzania has been told to study regional, continental and global trends in order to build its competitive advantage.

    The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) advised the east African nation to endeavor to learn from others if it wants its industrialization drive to succeed.

    According to the Tanzania Industrial Competitiveness Report 2015, which was jointly prepared by Unido and the government, the country should think within and outside its borders, particularly now that it seeks to revive its manufacturing sector.

    “The country should promote specific efforts for different markets on the quantity and composition of demand,” reads part of the 135-page report unveiled in Dar es Salaam last Friday.

    The report further called on the country to also look at the policies of other countries which are markets for goods produced in Tanzania.

    According to the report, Tanzania is at crossroads as it seeks to shift gears towards inclusive and sustainable industrialization. As it does this, something ought to be done to deal with the problems in the manufacturing sector.

    The manufacturing sector is of importance to the nation as it will form linkages and value chain, especially of locally produced raw materials.

    Additionally, the country should also consider taking into account its natural resource-based sectors.

    “In the short-medium term, the country should focus on boosting production output and value addition in that sector in which the country has an abundance of natural resources such as agro-industries, extractives, cotton and wood products.”

    The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and investments Dr Adelhelm Meru, said during the launch of the report that the government was aware of the decline in the manufacturing sector.

    According to Dr Meru, Tanzania needs to develop and implement strategies which would enable it to move industrialization to another level.

    He told the Citizen that the country’s value addition declined from roughly nine to under six percent. He noted that the capacity of manufacturing firms to increase value addition and diversify their production outputs towards more advanced products was also lagging behind.

    Technology will play a great role in helping the country build its comparative advantage and build on its competitive advantage by ensuring that their products are internationally competitive.

    Once the country has gained a stable footing in the manufacturing sector, it should shift and start to identify markets that cater for quality and quantity of goods produced locally.

    “Market diversification should be based on the findings of demand dynamism and an understanding of the feasibility of exporting to targeted markets,” says the report.

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