DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA — Ireland launched a new partnership worth €1 million (Tsh 2.6 billion) with Trademark East Africa (TMEA) to facilitate increased trade for Tanzania.
Trademark East Africa’s work in Tanzania centers on strengthening the environment for trade and business, with a focus on increased physical access to markets; building an enhanced regulatory environment for trade; and promoting improved business competitiveness. This will be Ireland’s first grant to TMEA and it is expected that further support will be provided over the coming three years. The Embassy of Ireland’s grant to Trademark East Africa complements its investment, announced in September, of an additional €2.76 million (Tsh 7.32 trillion) to improve income opportunities within Tanzania’s agriculture sector.
The partnership was launched by Ambassador Sherlock and John Ulanga, country director, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Tanzania at TMEA’s offices in Dar Es Salaam. Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Sherlock, underlined the importance of trade for sustainable economic growth.
“Over the past 50 years, Ireland has evolved from being a relatively closed economy to one of the most open economies in the world,” Sherlock said. “This experience has transformed our country beyond recognition. As a small open economy, trade and investment have become fundamental to achieving sustainable growth in Ireland and quality jobs for all our citizens. Increased trade is a powerful means by which to stimulate economic growth and job creation in Tanzania and it will need to be a central priority if Tanzania is to achieve its target of becoming a middle-income country by 2025.”
Ambassador Sherlock also emphasized the importance of Trademark East Africa’s work over the coming six months in supporting the operationalization of the Tanzania Mercantile Exchange and on its specific programming which supports increased inclusion of women in cross-border trade.
“I am very happy that this grant will support TMEA in its efforts to operationalization the Tanzania Mercantile (Commodities) Exchange, which will revolutionize trading of agriculture produce from Tanzania,” Sherlock said. “This support will include installing trading information system, warehousing and market information dissemination systems.
“Through all our work, the Embassy places a strong focus on gender equality to ensure that women are enabled to maximize their contribution to and benefit from improved economic growth. This is why I am very pleased that Ireland’s grant enable Trademark to increase its Women and Trade Program in collaboration with the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce. This program builds the capacity of women traders in Tanzania, including supporting them to mobilize resources to establish industrial parks for women food processers, and be able to access markets outside Tanzania.”
In his remarks, Sherlock also highlighted the Embassy’s broader work in support of Tanzania’s trade. This includes a capacity building program Tanzania Port Authority through the UN’s Port Training Program, which promotes the sharing of knowledge and expertise between port operators in Dublin and Dar Es Salaam.
Ambassador Sherlock also spoke about the Africa Agri-Food Development Fund designed to support sustainable growth of the agri-food industry in Africa, build markets for African exports and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa. He expressed his hope that this fund will be accessed by Tanzanian firms to establish business links with Ireland and increase trade and investment in this sector.
Lastly, the ambassador expressed his satisfaction that the Embassy was able to support some of Tanzania’s leading entrepreneurs to attend the Africa-Ireland Economic Forum that took place in Dublin in November. This annual event creates opportunities for business leaders from Ireland and those across Africa to meet and explore how trade and investment across Africa can be increased.