DPG Visit Iringa, Impressed with region productivity potentialMar 12, 2015
Development Partners Group (DPG) which includes main bilateral and multilateral Development Partners to Tanzania conducted a three day field visit in Iringa region on 25-27 February 2015, where they visited different projects in agriculture, agro processing, and energy with a side focus on delivery of social services (health and water) and environment/tourism.
The visit, organized jointly by the Iringa Regional Administrative Office, Ministry of Finance, and the DPG Secretariat, hosted by UNDP, included Development Partner Heads of Cooperation and Agencies and DPG Sector Leads from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Belgium, Canada, Denmark, IFAD, Ireland Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, USAID , the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Alvaro Rodriguez.
Also in the list were three government representatives including the Ministry of Finance Deputy Permanent Secretary for Financial Management DR Hamis Mwinyimvua and Economist from Aid Coordination Unit, Alex Mwakisu , as well as Director of Multilateral Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ambassador Celeste Mushi.
Addressing the media on the trip, the DPG Co Chair, Maria van Berlekom, Head of Cooperation, Swedish Embassy said the trips provided the group a chance to see the reality on the ground and interact with community and private sector who are the drivers of the economy, and helps them to know region’s opportunities and challenges.
She further said, that the field visit gives DPG in depth understanding of how things are done at local level so as what they do and decide in terms of their support to the country development, is better adapted to the reality on the ground and create synergies and not duplication.
“We are impressed with Iringa and its people in the villages. Their will, commitment and dedication is amazing and the results of their work is seen as they gain more income and improve their food security,” said Berlekom reflecting on the projects that they visited, adding; “From what I saw, models used are working and results are seen.
Among opportunities that she outlined is the vast arable land and good weather that Iringa has which said can be further utilized to increase productivity and boost the region economy and enough electricity that is produced by Tanesco’s Tagamenda sub-station which is important for industrialization.
“A lot is happening in Iringa, what we have seen is dedicated people who are succeeding in improving their lives and income, a robust private sector that benefiting the people around them despite challenges that they face,” she added.
On his side the UN Resident Coordinator Mr Rodriguez said, the visit was successful and helped them to learn so that DPG can serve better.
“Opportunities are at regional and district level because that’s where people are, so the visit help us to understand better how we can maximize those opportunities for people centered development so that everybody can benefit from those opportunities including the marginalized,” Rodriguez stressed.
Upon visiting Mufindi Sao hill Industries Ltd and Unilever Tea Tanzania, the resident coordinator said he was impressed with expansion of employment and income opportunities for the rural people in Iringa as a result of growing tea and trees as well as expansion of processing facilities.
Romana Tedeschi, Head of Cooperation, Swiss Embassy on her side said the visit was useful as it helped her to understand issues and challenges that Iringa face, and make a comparison with Swiss programmes.
Iringa acting Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Adam Swai said the visit was a good opportunity for the region to show case its investment opportunities especially in agro processing, agriculture and tourism.
“We are looking forward to a closer cooperation with DPG, upon seeing the region potential we expect them to encourage investors from their countries to come and invest in Iringa,” Swai said.
Among projects that were visited by DPG includes ASAS Diaries and Milk Processing Company, Tanzania Agriculture Productivity Program (greenhouse complex of tomatoes, drip irrigation), Iringa Regional Hospital, Frelimo district hospital, Nduli water-supply sub-station, Mkombozi Irrigation scheme, Mlenge large scale irrigations cheme, Itunundu and Mbuyuni warehouses
Others are; MUCCOBA bank, One Acre Fund, Mtanga foods limited, Ngerewala abattoir, Boma and Ruaha National Park.
The DPG fieldtrips serve as an important opportunity for DPs, Local Government Authorities, regional officials, NGOs, Private Sector and other stakeholders to engage in discussions at the local level. The purpose of the DPG field visits is to generate a better understanding of the development opportunities and challenges to inform joint thinking and discussions among DPs with Government officials on innovative approaches to address national development priorities and challenges.