NATURAL FIBRE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT FOR MSME LAUNCHED IN TANZANIA
SIDO in collaboration with Commonwealth Secretariat and Global Natural Fibre Forum have launched a project on Natural fibers development for MSME in Tanzania.
The project was officially launched by Ms Joyce Mapunjo the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in March 2012. In her opening remarks she said that Tanzania has many banana plantations, coconut trees and other natural resources which, if well used under the Fibre Development Project, the country can reduce poverty levels among rural Tanzanians.
The objective of the project is to strengthen institution capacities so as to support MSMEs in economic development and use of natural fibres. Moreover it will establish strong linkages between users of natural fibres and technical support institutions such as the University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania Bureau of Standard (TBS), Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) etc.
This project was the response from Commonwealth secretariat (COMSEC) after the United Nations General Assembly, in December 2006, declared 2009 the International Year on Natural Fibres with the overall objective of raising the profile of natural fibres that will improve the welfare of farmers around the world. The COMSEC as a result held a Pan-Commonwealth conference on Natural Fibre Skills Development Programme in Bangalore, India in June 2009. The conference was attended by participants from over 20 Commonwealth countries including Tanzania. The inspiration obtained from the Indian conference made Tanzania to initiate a project on natural fibres which is supported by COMSEC.
COMSEC has also started project of the kind in Mozambique and Zambia. Parallel to this, there have been established the Global Natural Fibre Forum (GNFF) has been established for five continents of the world that are Pacific, Europe, Africa, Asia and Caribbean. The GNFF is the knowledge-sharing platform about natural fibres and their utilization for economic development and poverty alleviation. Recently Tanzania was chosen as coordinator of African Natural Fibre Forum (ANFF) in a meeting held in Port Elisabeth. SIDO is coordinating this forum for Tanzania and Africa.