Dar es Salaam. Tanzania needs to develop vibrant and innovative human resources to enable it to realise its industrialisation goal, stakeholders say.
They said sound human resources should be developed to equip people with skills that would enable them to contribute accordingly to industrialisation.
They also called for a dialogue for Tanzanians to change their mindset and fully contribute to building the industrial economy.
They spoke about the importance of encouraging the youth to initiate projects to hasten the country’s attainment of the middle economy country by 2025.
They were speaking last Thursday during the Mwananchi Thought Leadership Forum whose theme was ‘Towards industrialisation: What are the opportunities and challenges?’
The forum was organised by Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) -- publishers of Mwananchi, The Citizen and Mwanaspoti newspapers -- in collaboration with ITV and Radio One.
Lindam Group managing director Zuhura Muro said Tanzania needed to develop farmers, fishermen, beekeepers and livestock keepers to play a significant role in building the industrial economy.
She warned against copying and pasting policies from Western countries as factors that led to industrialisation of those countries might not be applicable to Tanzania.
“We need to consider the Tanzanian perspective because 70 per cent of our people are engaged in agriculture, fishing, livestock keeping and beekeeping, and need support.”
Ms Muro, who also chairs the KCB Bank Tanzania Limited board of directors, said Tanzania was leading in sub-Saharan Africa in having vast land suitable for agriculture. Also, it has water bodies for fishing. Such great potential can contribute immensely to industrialisation if well exploited.
“We need to provide skills and technology to our people to benefit,” she said.
However, she noted that Tanzania erred by paying little attention to folk development centres to provide skills for adults to employ themselves. She was critical of the education system for concentrating on training people to do white-collar jobs.
She advised Tanzania to be careful in preparing its manpower. She said graduates from the middle colleges were highly demanded in building the industrial economy.
“Skills, knowledge and understanding given to Tanzanians should not render them casual labourers or encourage rural-urban migration. The expertise should enable them to strengthen the value chain in order to feed the industrial economy.”
The Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Development chief executive director, Dr Donath Olomi, called on Tanzanians to change their mindset to contribute fully to building the industrial economy.
He proposed that a national dialogue be organised for people to know the importance of changing their mindset.
He said 80 per cent of people in the public and private sector who changed their mindsets had realised development goals.
“The country should adopt behavioural change campaigns, like those used for birth control, HIV/Aids and gender issues to build strong human resources to support the country’s industrial economy.”
A student from the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Mr Noah Mahimbo, said the youth should be supported to implement projects on innovation.
He proposed that special programmes and systems be prepared to support innovation in higher learning institutions. “The present industrial revolution encourages the use of artificial intelligence, interaction of things and robots. Therefore, the youth should be encouraged to implement innovation projects to support the country’s industrialisation.”
Mr Alexander Njombe, from KPMG, supported the country’s demand for strong systems for innovation.
“The youth should be given opportunities to undertake innovation projects to enable them to establish startups that ultimately support anticipated industries. Innovation is a big thing because that is what the world demands,” he said. Urban and rural planning expert Paul Kitosi was concerned about the quality of human resources in the country. He said it was important for Tanzania to provide requisite skills for graduates.
He noted that in developed countries such as Germany, apart from normal universities, there were technical universities for providing people with skills used for strengthening industries.
“We are speaking of the industrial economy. Do we know how many plant operators are in the country to operate industrial machines? Do we know how many financial experts are there to analyse market trends in the industrial context?”
He criticised Tanzania Private Sector Foundation executive director Godfrey Simbeye for saying privately owned higher learning institutions outnumbered those owned by the public, without considering the quality of education provided.
He sought to know the government’s plans in developing Form Four and Form Six leavers, especially in providing technical education.