“To invest in Tanzania would enable the com-mercialisation of Algerian goods in six african coun-tries, where the products would be tax free.”
OGB Review: Your Excellency, being the first Ambassador of the newly installed republic of Tanzania what is your perception of bilateral relations after a year of taking function?
Omar Yusuf MZEE: Indeed our embassy was opened on the 27th October 2017 and I am the first Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania in Algeria. Coming to Algeria has been an opportunity for myself to meet Algerian brothers and sisters who were going to help, direct and support me prior to opening the Embassy. Today we are here and our Embassy is functioning wonderfully and I am here grateful to the Algerians who supported me and are still doing so in my activities. Before my coming here, when I was told I was going to Algeria to open the Embassy and work there, the first important thing that came to my mind was to find out about this country.I did some research and learned a great deal about the economy, the population and the Algerian culture. To come back to your question, I find our bilateral relations good and even excellent.
How would you rate the present state of economic exchanges between Algeria and Tanzania?
On my arrival in Algeria I realised, based on statistics, how economic exchanges between the two countries were poor. This is mostly regrettable given the potential existing between our two countries. For example, Tanzania is an important agricultural country and producer of coffee and Algerians are big consumers of that product compared with other African countries. It would be regrettable not to develop exchanges in that sector. Tanzania is also a big producer of tea, cashew nuts, spices such as ginger and cloves. On the other hand Algeria is a large country that produces and consumes various products. However statistics on commercial exchanges between our two countries are almost inexistent. Hence, my first mission consisted in meeting as much
as possible different Algerian investors, business men and operators as there are many things in Tanzania that are awaiting to be exploited by Algerians. I therefore encourage Algerian business men to visit Tanzania both individually or in groups in order to to find out about the country and its potentialities.
What are the most competitive sectors in Tanzania?
In Tanzania there are several attracting sectors. To cite a few, we have an agriculture with extensive and fertile lands. We also have industries. Whatever industry you plant in Tanzania, you will succeed because we are not only talking about the Tanzanian market but also about the six countries in East Africa. In those countries you would be able to sell your produce freely and free of tax.
So Tanzania could be a crossroads for Algerian exports in the whole of East Africa?
Absolutely. Moreover, we are among the African countries which are lucky to be bordered by the ocean and that is why some Central African countries depend on Tanzanian ports. We also hold important infrastructure to invest in the telecommunication sectors, Air companies etc. There is as well development infrastructure. It would be possible to invest in building construction. I invite investors to see by themselves the available potentialities
and Algerians are welcome! Possibilities are also important in the field of tourism. I noticed that very few Algerians have visited Tanzania as tourists, between ten and fifteen in a year. Today I can confirm that this number is increasing. A good number of newly wed couples go there. I am satisfied to see that Tanzania is quoted as a future touristic destination while previously the favourite countries were Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. We would be pleased to see a good number
of Algerian business men visit Tanzania looking for a new market and find out about opportunities for investment within Tanzania’s assets. Why choose Tanzania? well it has a lot to offer.
Are there any mechanisms to facilitate Algerian investments in Tanzania?
Here in Algeria, the Embassy bis the only representative of Tanzania. The private sector is ready to work with Algerians but it is the Embassy that bring together the potential investors from both countries. We ensure at our level that the investors obtain all the needed information such as the types of investments, the incentives, the tax system etc.
Have noticed any interest in Tanzania by Algerian investors so far?
In which sectors?
In all sectors, from agriculture throughout all types of industries. Right now some business men are watching on an individual basis the Tanzanian market and are trying to collect the necessary information. We are expecting a group of Algerian investors and business men to go to Tanzania next month. We are hoping this will have an impact on others as successful experiences are a warranty of trust for other investors.
Are there any Tanzanian investors interested by the Algerian market?
In a discussion I had with members of the Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce I have indeed noted their interest for the Algerian market.
What are the sectors likely to attract the Tanzanians?
The hydrocarbons sector is quite developed in Algeria. We have recently signed a memorandum in this field. You have your own universities and a rich experience in other areas such as the development of infrastructures, construction of roads, buildings and bridges. I have paid a visit to Sonatrach and have seen that you have a real energy power production. I could say the same about agriculture and other sectors. Tanzania will learn a lot from Algeria and vice versa. In
the 70s and 80s , traditional agriculture in Tanzania provided up to 70% of our GDP. Today the country has turned to a diversification of its economy. We rely on an important mining sector but also towards tourism and communications actually in full growth. Tanzania is one of five fast growing economies in Africa. In fact it is growing rapidly at 7% per year. We owe this growth mainly to the politics of the current president, John Magufuli. He is a strong president who struggles to reduce corruption and revitalise the public sector. This discipline has spread notoriously in the public institutions within a short period.There is a clear improvement in administration. Our country is also safe and stable possessing modern port and airport infrastructures . All investors are welcome as long as they respect the laws of the country.