26 februari 2005
East-Africa is eager for Dutch investors
"Tanzania is eager for Dutch investors," the Tanzanian Minister of Finance, Basil Mramba, assured the delegation. The eagerness is reciprocal, considering the fact that some 26 Dutch entrepreneurs joined this business promotion trip. But their eagerness is somewhat dimmed by the prospect of having to deal with corruption and other 'business enemies'. Since the Dutch government firmly believes in poverty reduction through economic development, it has created a facility, the Programme for Co-operation with Emerging Markets, to diminish these risks. Both in Uganda and in Tanzania, this facility has led to eleven new projects in which Dutch companies cooperate with local firms. In Tanzania this has led to a total investment of ten million euro, of which almost six million euro is subsidized by The Netherlands. Six hundred new jobs have been created, which has a spin-off for a multitude of people.
The business delegation visited such a project in the North of Tanzania, where the Dutch firm Pop Vriend Seeds BV started producing a vegetable oil, together with a Tanzanian firm and a local non-governmental organization. Suppliers are some 2,000 individual farmers and about forty larger agricultural companies. The oil is exported to the United States, Japan and Europe. For the Dutch minister this projects proofs that development cooperation can be successful in Africa.
In Uganda and Kenya the business trip also focused on micro-credits. The Dutch princess Màxima, visiting these countries as one of the advisors for the UN International Year of Micro-Credit, joined Minister Van Ardenne in discussions with female entrepreneurs and with institutions for micro-finance. Ms. Van Ardenne made a strong appeal on local commercial banks to take a bigger share in supplying micro-credits, if possible in cooperation with Dutch banks.
P+ Webtip: Pictures of Dutch princess Màxima in East-Africa