Event report

Event Report | Tanzania-France Business Forum

One week ago, the Tanzania-France Business Forum took place from May 27 to 29, 2024, in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Organized by MEDEF International’s France-East Africa Business Council, the Sustainable Cities Task Force, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French-Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce, the forum aimed to strengthen economic ties and explore opportunities for cooperation in various sectors. The forum featured high-level discussions and collaborative sessions focused on various sectors such as infrastructure, energy, transport and urban development.  

The forum brought together representatives of the Tanzanian government, a French delegation of 27 representatives of companies, the Tanzanian private sector, the main financial backers, the European Union and the African Union. 

At the Chamber, we have mobilized our French and Tanzanian members to actively participate in the forum, giving them a unique opportunity to engage with French investors not yet present in Tanzania, opening doors to new investments and partnerships. This underscores our commitment to fostering international collaboration and promoting sustainable growth in Tanzania. 


Day 1 

The forum started with the opening remarks from his Excellency Nabil Hajlaoui, the French Ambassador to Tanzania, who emphasized the positive reforms that recently took place to boost the attractiveness of Tanzania to foreign investment.  

Ms. Christine Grau, EU Ambassador to Tanzania, reassured that Tanzania is a very safe and stable country with a promising economic base for investment, highlighting its youthful population and future potential. 

Following the opening ceremony, the forum moved to roundtable sessions focusing on: 

  • Infrastructure & Transportation: Hon. Prof. Makame Mbarawa, Minister of Transport of Tanzania, who emphasized the role of transport infrastructure as a key enabler for the country's development, which today represents 6% of the country’s GDP. He invited the private sector to manifest their interest in operating the SGR from Dar Es Salaam to the neighboring countries, to operate the port of Dar Es Salaam to improve its efficiency and to create waterway systems in the Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika. 

  • Energy Transition: the speakers highlighted the good progress that are taking place in Tanzania, with the ongoing huge efforts in the clean cooking sector among others. But they also requested fiscal incentives and adequate policy to attract more investment. 

  • Sustainable Cities & Water: experts addressed crucial topics such as innovative water treatment solutions and effective waste management strategies. 

The day ended with a cocktail reception at the Residence of the French Ambassador, enabling further interaction and networking among the participants. 


 Day 2 

The meetings of the following day involved key stakeholders from various international financial institutions, including the World Bank, IFC, and AFD. 

The European Union Delegation focused on the Global Gateway initiative discussing opportunities and strategies for sustainable development and investment in Africa. French companies are ready to propose ambitious projects aligning with the Global Gateway strategy, which aims to mobilize up to EUR 150 billions of investment in Africa until 2027. As of now, only 15% has been allocated. 

Before leaving for Zanzibar, the delegation had the opportunity to have a guided tour of the Standard Gauge Railway departure station by the TRC director.  The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project in Tanzania, departing from Dar es Salaam, aims to modernize the railway system, improve connectivity, and boost economic growth. It includes multiple phases, starting with the Dar es Salaam to Morogoro section, and is designed for high-speed, efficient passenger and freight transport, funded through government and international partnerships. The TRC director called on the private sector to raise their interest in operating the line with the existing or their own rolling stock and to provide capacity building and training. 


Day 3 

On the last day, the forum provided a new round of information specifically focusing on Zanzibar, including detailed presentations on investment opportunities. President Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi of Zanzibar invited French investors to explore ventures in tourism, fishing, and the development of multipurpose ports. He highlighted the significant role of the blue economy in Zanzibar's economic landscape, citing projects like the Mangapwani port revamp and the strategic importance of ports in Malindi, Mkokotoni, and Fumba. He also highlighted the role of the French-Tanzanian Chamber of Commerce as a key enabler to boost partnerships between Tanzania and Zanzibar, and France. 

Hon. Sharif Ali Sharif, Minister for Labour, Economy and Investment, Zanzibar, Dr. Khalid Salum Mohamed, Minister for Infrastructure, Communication and Transport, Zanzibar, Hon. Mudrik Soraga, Minister for Tourism and Heritage, Zanzibar and Hon.  Shaib Hassan Kaduara, Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals, Zanzibar were present and engaged in in-depth discussions with the delegation on the key investment opportunities in the following areas: renewable energy, transport infrastructure (Mangapwani port, Kizimkazi port, Pemba port, airport of Zanzibar and Pemba, public transport with electric buses), support Zanzibar in being a sustainable destination, water treatment and waste management, digital connectivity.. 

The Business Forum ended with a guided tour of the Mangapwani Port in Zanzibar, by Benoit Araman, Managing Director at Oryx Energies. Mangapwani Port is a strategic logistics hub. It features modern storage facilities and aims to improve energy security and distribution efficiency in the region. The port boosts the local economy by creating jobs and adhering to international environmental and safety standards.  


Overall, the Tanzania-France Business Forum served as a crucial platform for deepening economic cooperation, exploring new business opportunities, and reinforcing the commitment to sustainable development and mutual prosperity between Tanzania and France. 


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