The business community has been called upon to utilise the long term credit facility provided by the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (NORFUND) in order to expand their concerns and generate more profits.
This was said in Dar es Salaam by the Executive Director of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mr Daniel Machemba during a workshop under the theme: “Develop and Expand your Business – Networking and Financing Possibilities.”
“Access to affordable and long term loans has been one of the major obstacles for the growth and expansion of businesses across East Africa. Thus NORFUND is a crucial opportunity and solution to the problem of capital constraints,” remarked Mr Machemba.
NORFUND as an investment company for developing and establishing profitable and sustainable enterprises in poor countries has been providing technical assistance necessary for business growth for contribution to the economy. The workshop organised jointly by NORFUND and TCCIA focused on exposing credit opportunities in order to promote business development and contribute to economic growth and poverty alleviation.
In her opening speech, the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Ingunn Klepsvik said private sector growth has been changing drastically in the past 20 years, thus introducing a credit facility window would provide ample opportunity for boosting businesses in the country.
“The private sector is the heart of Tanzania’s economy. Thus the loan facility by NORFUND presents a significant opportunity to make the sector more vibrant to enhance its significant contribution to government revenue as well as efforts to alleviate poverty,” said Ms Klepsvik.
As the private sector grows, corporate social responsibilities too increases, which has a positive impact for the well being of society. In his presentation, the NORFUND Investment Director and Regional Head Eastern Africa Office, Mr Per Emil Lindøe said the credit facility operates in some of the world’s poorest countries and invests in markets, where ordinary commercial enterprises are often reluctant to venture alone because of the high risk to asset exposure.
The credit facility invests on commercial terms always with partners and normally with a 20 to 30 per cent stake in areas like financial institutions, small scale enterprises funds, renewable energy and industrial partnership. For example, NORFUND that invest in profitable business undertakings has been injecting between 3 to 15 million US dollars in energy projects.
In his remarks, the Katani Limited Managing Director, Mr Salum Shamte, said the loan facility presents an interesting opportunity that would definitely promote agriculture investment that employs the largest part of the population in the region.
By SEBASTIAN MRINDOKO, Tanzania Daily News