THE WILD LANDS ON LEASE!

Published by Paulina Nkini

“I traveled among unknown men, in lands beyond the sea, they call it Tanzania; did I know till then what love I bore to thee."

 

The Tanzanian government is in for a good fight, the fight to increase the economy of this nation, has left no stone untouched.

Tourism is one of the major sources of government Revenue, it has provided multiple opportunities to the people of Tanzania, in terms of employment, marketing and entrepreneurship and this has caused the industry to rise up the ranks in the Tanzania economy.

Fostering the commitment to protect national game reserves, national parks, natural resources and the entire tourism sector, the government has issued new Special Wildlife Investment Concession Areas Regulations (SWICA Regulations) through the Government Notice No.397 of 2021 Published on 21st May 2021. The said rules revoke the SWICA regulations published in the year 2020, 17th January under GN N0. 28

With the new SWICA regulations the Minister may, upon recommendation of the Board, designate areas of land within game reserves and game-controlled areas to be Special Wildlife Investment Concession Areas.

The authority shall ensure that all areas designated to be Special Wildlife Investment Concession Areas have General Management Plans. And potential investors shall be procured through solicitated or unsolicited proposals.

A concession contract under these Regulations shall be valid for a period not exceeding thirty years as shall be determined by the Authority on the basis of nature and type of investment; cost of investment, returns; and such other relevant factors

To be eligible for grant of concessions, local companies must have a minimum investment capital of not less than $20 Million USD, if the local company is 100% Tanzanian owned, the capital shall not be less than $10Million USD. And for the foreign companies, the capital shall not to be less than $50 Million USD.

Other requirements for being concessionaire include proof of high capability to support conservation of the wildlife resources, and to secure a commitment bond to provide security for the performance of the contract, whereas for Tanzanian local companies that are owned fully by Tanzanians, the required performance bond is 5% while that of the remaining other is 10%.

To ensure this is done, the regulations have not left a slick path for the wrong doers. The authority has mandate to cancel concession at any time before expiration of the contract, if; a concessionaire fails to satisfy any or a combination of matters required by the Minister or commits an offence under the Act or any other written law; or fails to pay necessary fees and charges to the Government in the prescribed period or any other debt due to him in relation to his special wildlife investment concession area. The regulations also make it an offence to transfer or sublet the user right of a special concession area without the prior consent of the Minister.

These regulations have come in pursuit to benefit the tourism industry and expand the interests of the people. The establishment of the Board shall ensure that any contract or arrangement for utilization of resources in the Special Wildlife Investment Concession Areas guarantees returns into the Tanzanian economy from the earnings accrued or derived from such use. Making sure that all relevant Government taxes are fully paid, ensure participation of Tanzanians through Labor, business, technology, supply of goods and services and research capability; and ensure compliances of corporate social responsibilities to the local communities. Most importantly these new regulations shall ensure that local content is a component of the activities engages in by the concessionaire.

It is herein clear that, the perception and belief in growth of the tourism industry in Tanzania is soon to be reality. Like Confucius says: - "The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach full potential...these are the keys that will unlock the door to excellence." – It is quite clear that the Tanzanian government has the will and desire, to cross the limits of economy boundaries and excel mercilessly.

As a Tanzanian what are you doing to promote the tourism Industry In Tanzania?