Relationship building for business in Dar es Salaam

Finland Tanzania business 3 Florence MugarulaTanzania’s minister for energy and minerals Sospeter Muhongo and the Finnish minister for foreign trade Alexander Stubb at the launch of the city centre substation built by Tanesco in Dar es Salaam. (Image source: Florence Mugarula)Finnish focus on international development

In an exclusive interview, minister Hautala told this reporter that the delegation had come to Tanzania because Finland wants to bring people together and see how they can cooperate on various issues. She added that Tanzania and Zambia had been chosen out of the 54 African countries because they were long-term partners of Finland and the two countries have many business development opportunities.

“We need to be here because Tanzania is among the fast-growing countries in Africa. It is a peaceful country, with many resources - including gas and oil,” she said.

Hautala also spoke about the Team Finland, a network that promotes Finland's external economic relations and country brand, the internationalisation of Finnish companies, and foreign investment into Finland. She said that Team Finland works towards strengthening cooperation and creating linkage between foreign and Finnish companies. 

On forestry preservation, the minister said citizens should be educated on the need to preserve forests and the nature.

“The government should play its part in educating people on the side effects caused by the destruction of forests,” she said.

She added that Tanzanians should share knowledge to understand better how important the forests are to their lives and how serious it will be if depletion of forests was not stopped.

On education, Hautala said, “Teachers need to be appreciated and recognised. Our education system is strong because teachers are well-treated and recognised for their good job, and on top of that the country enjoys the economic prosperity that boosts all sectors.”

Speaking with this writer, director general of the Department for Development Policy at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Pekka Puustinen affirmed that the visit would strengthen the ties which have been there for more than 50 years. He noted that the delegation had decided to come to Tanzania because the growth rate of the country seems to be in the right track and hence the country has become the best place for trade and investment..

“Tanzania has many resources and opportunities that would attract any country to invest in and cooperate with. This is the right time for us to step in,” he said, adding that the aim of cooperation with Tanzania will be to enable companies and other stakeholders from the two sides to work together.

Key developments 

Along with other activities, the ministers held discussion on the signing of bilateral agreements with Tanzanian minister of finance William Mgimwa. They also attended a courtesy call to the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, at The State House.

The delegation then held a discussion on competitiveness and on going business in Tanzania with the nation’s deputy minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation, minister and deputy minister for communication, science and technology, and minister of trade and industry.

The ministers also attended an event at the Nokia Mobile Campus and Tanzania Youth Alliance (TAYOA) service at Kibasila Seconday School in the Temeke district of Dar es Salaam. TAYOA’s objectives include the empowerment of youth by spreading scientific knowledge, instilling constructive values and attitudes, building organizational skills, and creating opportunities to earn income.

Moreover, Stubb attended the launch of a new city centre substation built by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) with Tanzanian minister for energy and minerals Sospeter Muhongo. The centre was constructed with the Finnish governmental support. Stubb said that the project, which took two years to complete, will increase efficiency and power management in Dar es Salaam.

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