Anthony Muchoki & Beda Msimbe
As global superpowers jostle for dominance in the digital era, Tanzania sends out a radar from the heart of the African continent, signaling that the world might have it all wrong. During the AGRF conference, the message was unambiguous: The next revolution will not be televised, but cultivated.
From the pulsating beats of Tanzania’s heartland to its shimmering shores, the nation is broadcasting its intent. “Harnessing the power of both land and sea, Tanzania’s livestock and blue economy sectors stand as formidable pillars that underpin the nation’s economic dynamism and resilience,” states Hon. Abdallah Ulega. This isn’t just a proclamation for Tanzanians, but an assertion that has global ramifications.
By convening 5,400 stakeholders from 90 countries, Tanzania didn’t just host a forum; it became the epicenter of a new world vision. A vision where a country’s intrinsic resources, its livestock, and seas are not merely sectors but powerhouse solutions to global challenges.
The data is not just impressive; it’s transformative. The livestock sector rakes in a staggering 7.4% of Tanzania’s GDP. The fisheries sector, with its 1.5% annual growth, may seem modest until you discern its impact: directly and indirectly supporting nearly 7% of the nation’s populace. But these figures are not just stats on a balance sheet; they’re an atlas for a potential global reboot.
Why is this radical? Because in a world fraught with climate emergencies and ecological degradation, Tanzania posits a different kind of blueprint. One that doesn’t forsake its roots but digs deeper into them. It’s not about mimicking the West or East but about sculpting an African narrative that, perhaps, the world should emulate.
The collaborations, like the CRDB Bank’s commitment of 50 million dollars to empower the youth in these primal sectors, is more than finance; it’s a faith in a radical vision. And the President’s Build a Better Tomorrow (BBT) Legacy Program isn’t just a local initiative; it’s a gauntlet thrown at the feet of global systems, asking them to recalibrate.
But here’s where the Tanzanian model gets even more compelling: It’s holistic. It’s not just about economy but about community. It seeks to marry the modern with the traditional, enterprise with ethos. The accolades received by 19 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at AGRF, led predominantly by spirited youth and women, are a testament to this blend of age-old wisdom and avant-garde innovation.
Yet, the forum’s resounding success wasn’t in its exhibitions or plenaries. It lay in the audacious calls to action by Hon. Abdallah Ulega. He didn’t just speak to Tanzanians, but to humanity at large. To the youth, he presented an opportunity to not just exist but lead. To the women, a reminder of their intrinsic power. And to the men, a challenge to reshape and redefine.
To global investors, Ulega’s assurance is both a promise and a provocation. Tanzania is inviting the world not just to invest, but to rethink. To consider a realm where technology supports, not supersedes, tradition. Where growth is not at the expense of the environment but in tandem with it.
In a world veering between existential crises and digital distractions, Tanzania’s beacon, under the leadership of Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan and visionaries like Hon. Abdallah Ulega, offers a tantalizing glimpse into an alternate future. A future where humanity doesn’t need to break with the past to forge ahead but can weave it into a new global tapestry.
As the AGRF curtains fell, one thing was clear: The next big thing might not come from Silicon Valleys or tech hubs, but from the expansive plains and azure waters of nations like Tanzania. The question remains: Are we ready to tune in?
The vision Tanzania unfurled at AGRF, backed by Hon. Abdallah Ulega’s words, underlines a profound and, until now, under-acknowledged truth: Prosperity and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, but can be, and must be, pursued concurrently. If the last few decades were about the “rise of the machines” and digital sprawl, the coming ones might witness the resurgence of organic, grounded growth, and nowhere is this resonance more palpable than in Tanzania’s proposal.
Mkuza Chicks, KCG Aqua-tech, Tan-feed International: these aren’t just names of emerging businesses from Tanzania. They are flag-bearers of this new revolution. When stakeholders from poultry, fish production, and livestock feed industries are not just showcasing their products but are selected to represent their country’s economic potential at global forums, the world should take note. It suggests a deliberate, and possibly radical, pivot towards holistic growth – where the well-being of people, livestock, and the environment are interconnected cogs of a larger machine.
Moreover, the success stories of enterprises like Mbogo Ranch, TANCHOICE, and TANLAPIA, not only bolster Tanzania’s economic narrative but also offer an insight into the collaborative spirit that drives the nation. By opening their doors to AGRF participants, they have seamlessly blended the roles of producer and educator. Such initiatives drive home the point that businesses, when rooted in authentic, on-ground practices, become more than profit-generating entities; they become hubs of knowledge exchange, innovation, and community-building.
This inclusive model of growth can only thrive with the active participation of every section of the society. And herein lies Tanzania’s trump card. By ensuring that the youth, women, and men are equally invested and represented in this journey, the nation is amplifying its chances of sustainable success. Ulega’s call to action is not a plea, but a clarion call to the collective conscience of a nation and, by extension, to the world. It’s a call to reclaim, restructure, and, if necessary, revolt against outdated, unsustainable paradigms.
Yet, the Tanzanian model is not about insularity. It is, paradoxically, as global as it gets. By assuring international investors of “untapped opportunities” and emphasizing readiness to meet international standards, Tanzania is crafting a nuanced, globally relevant narrative. It’s offering the world a model that says: “Come, invest, but let’s do it right. Let’s create a future that honors the past, that understands the importance of every blade of grass and every drop of water.”
In summing up the promise and potential Tanzania has showcased, one thing becomes abundantly clear. This isn’t just about a nation’s economic progression; it’s about charting a fresh course for global growth. It’s about creating a model where businesses don’t just count profits but make every count profitable for the planet.
The echoing conversations beneath Tanzania’s skies during AGRF may have ended, but their reverberations will be felt across continents for years to come. And as the world stands at multiple crossroads, grappling with existential choices, Tanzania’s message is lucid: It’s time to return, relearn, and rebuild. Not separately, but together.