Monday, August 25, 2014

Dar urges PTA states to focus on investments

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said Africa needs to concentrate on energy, agriculture, infrastructure and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to transform their countries’ economies. Saying that this would translate into meaningful development and poverty eradication results, Pinda further advised Africa to reduce inflation to single digit. The PM was officiating at the opening session of the 30th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank commonly known as PTA Bank in Dar es Salaam on Friday last week. He said such a step is in the best interest of people and national economies. The governors met to deliberate on growth and development as well as explore how best to benefit from financial and technical support the Bank gives to their respective countries. The premier urged the PTA Bank and stakeholders working in partnership with member states to give priority to loans which would enable countries to facilitate investments. “We should be able to foster economic prosperity in our countries, region and continent at large and so improve the livelihood and well being of our people” he said. The PM said he was confident about the Bank’s commitments, which would do much to meet the member states expectations to effectively handle challenges confronting the continent. According to Pinda, Africa must maintain political will to support the integration and advancement of national and regional economies. He said the continent’s economies have grown at an average rate of 5 percent per annum, an aspect that inflation is under control and the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) flowing back to the continent. 

Tanzania's Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda 

The continent is getting “younger and more populous” with implications for education and health care, for supply of labour and consumer demand.  Pinda said in view of this Africa should work together more vigorously in dealing with the challenges and ensure more of its people have opportunity to participate in the growth process.  “Taking Africa’s development to the next level will require a much bigger role for the private sector as an engine of growth in creating wealth and more jobs,” he asserted. On her part, the Minister for Finance, Saada Mkuya who takes over as Chairperson of the PTA Bank from outgoing Ethiopian State Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said there is a chain of other challenges. She listed them as adverse effects of rising food and oil prices and most recently the adverse effects of the Ebola pandemic, also citing recurring civil wars and terrorist attacks; and consequently loss of human life and property. According to the PTA Chief Executive Officer and President Admassu Tadessa, Tanzania has benefited from the bank’s loans tht have been directed to development projects. The projects the ongoing construction of Terminal Three at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) that received $30 million, Tanzania Ports Authority (PTA) and Kilwa Energy Projects which received $20 million and $47 million, respectively. Member stakeholders of the PTA Bank are Tanzania, Burundi, Comoro, Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and African Development Bank.

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