Dar es Salaam — The United States Government has pledged $12 million (TZH 28 billion) to support Tanzanian youth in starting, operating, and financing agricultural businesses on the mainland and in Zanzibar. The announcement was made by U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Michael A. Battle and the USAID/Tanzania Mission Director V. Kate Somvongsiri at launch events for the Feed the Future (FtF) – Private Sector Strengthening Activity (PSSA) in Zanzibar and Dodoma.
“For over six decades, the United States has cherished its partnership with Tanzania,” said U.S. Ambassador Battle during the PSSA launch in Zanzibar on May 5. “The U.S. Government remains committed to our partnership to generate new job opportunities, improve access to financing, and advise on establishing an enabling environment where entrepreneurs and the private sector can invest and prosper in Tanzania’s future.”
In addition to helping youth in Tanzania get business loans, teaching them important business skills, and helping them find customers, PSSA is also working to ensure fair and equitable administration of the government’s business regulations to support young entrepreneurs. Targeting Tanzania’s SAGCOT regions of Iringa, Mbeya, Morogoro, and the Unguja and Pemba regions of Zanzibar, PSSA will award grants on an open, competitive basis to private sector associations, organizations, and lead firms working to improve the business enabling environment and expand economic opportunities for youth. Overall, PSSA aims to reach 30,000 youth, enhance business support services for 6,000 youth-led enterprises, offer financial services to over 3,000 young people, and establish ten new policies to stimulate economic opportunities for youth and facilitate expansion into new markets.
During the May 11 launch of PSSA in Dodoma, USAID/Tanzania Mission Director Kate Somvongsiri said, “Feed the Future Tanzania Private Sector Strengthening Activity prioritizes investing in youth. By working together with private sector associations and aligning with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Building a Better Tomorrow, we can support the implementation of policies that help youth overcome barriers to their economic empowerment. PSSA can only achieve its goals in partnership with the Tanzanian government and private sector partners across the country.”
The Deputy Permanent Secretary, Dr. Hussein Omari, Ministry of Agriculture officiating at the event in Dodoma commented, “I see opportunities for collaboration between PSSA and our Building a Better Tomorrow: Youth Initiative for Agribusiness program. The Government of Tanzania is fully committed to working with this activity to support youth in the private sector and promote local and international investment.”