Dares Salaam - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairship has come to Tanzania at a time the country is spearheading notable sustainable industrial development, The Southern Times has learnt.
The SADC chair, which was handed over by Namibia to Tanzania on Saturday during the official opening of the SADC 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government, comes when Tanzania is making strides in sectors such as transport, energy and business.
In an exclusive interview, Tanzanian government spokesperson, Dr Hassan Abbasi, said the SADC incoming Chairperson and Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, has pushed a reform agenda that saw the country implementing projects in three years that would in normal circumstances take 20 years.
“President Magufuli’s first transformational approach is to emphasise on internal revenue collections and curbing wasteful spending of public funds; no wonder the internal tax revenues have almost doubled, with non-tax revenues increasing more than 100 percent,” said Abbasi
“The government is now able to deliver historic projects that other SADC leaders can emulate using internal funds. In the transport sector, he has revamped the once ailing Air Tanzania by supplying it with six new passenger aircrafts, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, making Tanzania also become the maiden operator of Airbus version A220-300. “Air Tanzania is now back and rocking the skies of some SADC countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
He contributed to the Air Tanzania Corporation, his own presidential jet and has purchased three more planes, two arriving this year, including the second Boeing Dreamliner. He has never taken a loan or grant from any country or development partner to implement this,” he said.
Abbasi said President Magufuli is currently delivering Africa’s fourth largest hydro power dam called Julius Nyerere Hydro Power Project. The power project is a 2 115 megawatts plant that costs US$2.9 billion and the resources for the project were mobilised domestically with no additional funding from partners.
According to Abbasi, the power project will be a power solution to several SADC member states.
“Tanzania is also delivering Africa’s biggest Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project from its capital city of Dar es Salaam to the western parts of the country, then linking it with neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The US$3 billion project for the two lots from Dar es Salaam to the newly installed capital city of Dodoma (in central Tanzania) is funded 100% by the government. Overall implementation is over 50 percent,” said Abbasi.
He said the SADC 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government theme came when Tanzania was making notable progress in creating an environment for business, inclusive and sustainable development.
According to Abbasi, such an environment could be achieved where there was no corruption and his country had made significant efforts in removing corruption under the leadership of President Magufuli.
“Businesses and investments cannot flourish in a corrupt economy. Tanzania is now leading the fight. The President pushed for laws to heavily punish corrupt private or public individuals, he replaced senior anti-corruption officials and established a special court to prosecute corruption and other organised crimes cases.
“As we speak, there are more than 50 cases at the court, several public senior officials have either been dismissed or are being prosecuted for abuse of office and mismanagement.
President Magufuli’s stance and actions against corruption are not only measured through boosting his government’s ability to be able to implement all the costly projects I mentioned, but captures global and continental rankings,” said Abbasi.