For far too long, it seems, the call in Tanzania was more often than not for foreign direct investment (FDI) whereby investments were to be made by foreigners.
Generally, a foreign direct investment is made by a firm or individual located in one country into business interests located in another country. In effect, an FDI takes place when an investor establishes foreign business operations, or acquires foreign business assets, including establishing ownership or controlling interest in a foreign company.
It was not only until relatively recently that calls for investments by Tanzanians in their motherland started to be made in earnest. Among the latest such calls is the one that was made recently by the vice president for Central and North-East Africa of the oil-and-gas company Total, Mr Jean Philippe Torres.
Speaking at the formal launching of a dealer-owned, dealer-operated fuel service station at Tegeta in Dar es Salaam, Mr Torres called upon Tanzanians to “grab the available investment and business opportunities. This is if they are to play an increasingly-important role in their country’s development...”
Mr Torres rightly praised the President John Magufuli government for “continued efforts to make Tanzania a leading investment destination of choice in Africa...”
That accolade aside, the entrepreneur stressed that Tanzanians need to be exposed to the bounty of investment opportunities – complete with the related capacity-building that would enable them to effectively utilize the opportunities...
“That is what Total is here to do,” Mr Torres said as he confirmed that the Tegeta outlet is fully-owned and operated by Tanzanians.
More well-wishers should take a leaf out of the Total and Mr Torres’ book on encouraging and supporting increased investments in Tanzania by Tanzanians – and for Tanzanians.