THE industrial drive being championed by the current government under President John Magufuli resonates the Arusha Declaration’s vision of self-reliance, which was the brainchild of the late Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere; academicians and former leaders pointed yesterday.
Speakers who aired views during the 19th symposium to commemorate the death of Mwalimu Nyerere were highly positive that the self-reliance vision, through establishment of factories, was now being revamped after many of the Nyerere- era factories collapsed.
The scholars and senior citizens are hence yearning for advancement of the agriculture sector through commercial farming and adequate funding and utilisation of agricultural research institutions, which are crucial utility to support establishment of industries.
“Mwalimu Nyerere established about 414 industries, but most of them collapsed due to poor management, sabotage, lack of patriotism and dishonesty by people who were charged to manage them.
“The good news, however, is that the current government is reviving the industrial economy. It is our hope that the country will attain the mission,” the Vice- Chancellor of the Mwalimu Nyerere Academy (MNA), Prof Shadrack Mwakalila, commented.
Presenting a paper titled; “Patriotism and Integrity,” Prof Mwakalila recalled how the industries established by Mwalimu Nyerere were crucial on value addition for agriculture produce, creation of jobs and improving the economy.
“These factories later collapsed due to poor management, now that we are planning new industries, we should embrace patriotism and exercise high levels of integrity for sustainability of the sector,” Prof Mwakalila urged.
Adding, “It is also on record that when Mwalimu Nyerere was commissioning Urafiki Textiles, he pointed that local industries should provide quality and affordable products lest Tanzanians would still resort to imports.”
The views by the don were shared by the Vice-Chancellor of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Prof Raphael Chibunda, who stressed that it was high time for massive investment in mechanised irrigation-led commercial farming, to provide adequate raw materials for the envisaged industries.
Massive investment in agriculture, he reasoned, would not only provide food for the population and raw materials for the industries, but also stimulate establishment of industries to produce spare parts for the factories as well as farm implements and fertilisers to be used by farmers.
The academician further added that given Tanzania’s vast arable land, a large number of livestock and fishing resources in both the Indian Ocean and in-land water bodies, it stands to benefit hugely from value addition locally as opposed to exporting the resources in raw form.
And, since most of Tanzanian farmers practice subsistence farming, Prof Chibunda was confident that commercialisation of agriculture and industrialisation will eventually encourage peasants to produce more to improve their livelihoods.
“As far as the vision on industrialisation and making efforts to improve the agriculture sector are concerned, we are heading towards the right direction,” the scholar explained in his presentation titled, “Agriculture.”
The Director General of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), Dr Ayoub Ryoba, pointed that the Arusha Declaration had clearly stipulated that Tanzania should focus on self-reliance, through establishment of industries to cater for the local market and exports.
“The challenge now lies upon us to work hard and creatively to create more factories,” the trained journalist stated in his paper, which carried a tittle; “The importance of the Arusha Declaration in boosting local industries.”
Former minister who served under Mwalimu Nyerere, Mr Paul Kimiti, pointed that agro-processing industries were crucial in uplifting majority of Tanzanians who are employed in the agriculture sector.