Direct investments by British firms to Tanzania are increasing rapidly while UK government aid to the latter for this year is estimated at $250 million, according to the High Commissioner, Ms Diane Corner.
The latest entrants in the investment arena include Heritage Rukwa which was among the three foreign companies that last week signed an agreement with the Tanzania government to explore oil and gas.
Another is a British firm, Diageo, which now has a controlling stake in the Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL), she said in an interview in Arusha on Friday.
She added that Africa Barrick Gold, which operates four gold mines in the country, has injected about $3 billion in investment, making it the only single largest investor in Tanzania.
Ms Corner said besides direct aid; the UK was also supporting development projects in Tanzania through the European Union (EU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Monetary Fund.
“It’s important for us to understand what is going on. Thousands are employed by British firms in Tanzania besides opening up the country’s products for export markets,” she stated, citing the new SBL plant in Moshi in which Diageo injected $ 50m.
Priority of assistance in the social services has been given to the education sector, she told reporters at the end of her two day visit to Arusha to meet British investors and heads of business institutions.
Institutions she visited include the East African Business Council and Trade-Mark East Africa, a non-governmental organisation established two years ago to strengthen trade links in the region, especially through improved intra-regional infrastructure.
She also visited British investors engaged in farming and the beverage industry as well as the A to Z Textile Company, which manufactures treated mosquito nets for the African market.
There are 70 firms run by British nationals in the northern regions of Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro who have formed a network on how to work with the Tanzanian government to improve the business climate. According to her, there are also 70 members of the British investors’ network operating in Dar es Salaam and its environs. These include Aggreko emergency power generation firm, currently involved in a 100MW project. She said her government was generally satisfied with the current business climate in Tanzania.
Source: The Citizen