Experts: Creativity, self-confidence and right information are a must, for youth to shine in EAC integration

Youth entrepreneurs in Tanzania have been cautioned to be creative, self-confident and acquire right information in order to compete with their counterparts in EAC.

This observation was insistently made during presentations by various outstanding individuals who spoke during the Tanzania Youth Caravan campaign conducted in five regions from 14th - 23rd July, 2017.

The campaign drew participants from government and the private sector. More than eight speakers, including inspirational leaders, stood on the podium and at outdoor meetings to appeal to the youth to heed the advice. The participants included: the ministry of foreign affairs and EAC, Immigration Department (Ministry of Home Affairs), and the business licensing body BRELA (industry and Trade), commercial banks, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), and Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA). Others were The Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) and the Small Industrial Development Organization (SIDO).

An official from the Immigration department explained to the participants about Tanzania Laws governing citizens’ migration from one country to another, requirements for youth entrepreneurs to follow, all established laws, rules, and regulations regarding movement were emphasized.

The Immigration officials outlined the three types of travel documents that can be issued by the ministry of Home Affairs to Tanzanians: a temporary one-year passport which costs TZS 10,000/, an international passport which costs TZS 50,000 and the EAC passport which can be obtained for TZS 15,000.

TWCC’s Mwajuma Hashim urged the youth and women to join her institution as a gateway to accessing loans, markets, and a union that could impact business in the region.

She added, “TWCC also provides the opportunity for Information-sharing through SMS, phone calls, website, meetings or business events/training and social media. We also solicit different opportunities for our members from different trade-supporting institutions, its partners, international and national supporters, and government institutions. We advise our members and women on business-related issues and train them on various business matters including starting up a business, scaling up a business, especially on market access, export strategies as well as international trade procedures and opportunities.”

Officials from BRELA underscored the need for youth entrepreneurs to register and obtain business licenses as vital documents needed when applying for bank loans and other benefits. They said BRELA supports cross-border youth entrepreneurs by issuing business licenses and by approving business names at the price of TZS 15,000.

“The message on this leaflet is clear, it calls upon you to follow proper procedures for doing business along the border and within EAC states but for Tanzania, please ask for more information so that you do legal business,” said the presenter.

The presenters from TBS highlighted the role of the institution in ensuring standardization of products, and appealed to the youth to ensure they produce high-quality products to attract the market of more than 150 million East Africans.

TBS has resolved to support youth entrepreneurs through the creation of awareness of standardization. This is done through essay competition for secondary schools to mark this year's World Standards Day. The purpose was to impart knowledge to the young men and women on the importance of standards in their lives.

Dr. Eliamani Laltaika from the Nelson Mandela University of Technology inspired youth participants with his vivid living examples but warned them to change their mindset and think positively. “Change the way you think. Even if the government supports you, if you do not change, you will not succeed unless you change your mindset”, he cautioned and inspired the gathered youth in Arusha.

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