The High Commission of the United Republic of Tanzania was among several foreign Diplomatic Missions in India that took part in the Indo-Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industries – IACCI annual meeting phrased as “I for Afrika” that took place in Mumbai from 28th to 29th May 2012 and Surat from 30th to 31st May 2012.

Distinctive feature of this meeting [2012 I for Afrika] which normally takes place in Mumbai where the IACCI Headquarter situates, was its attribution to bi-folded schedule which implicated consecutive plenary and business meetings in two different States of South west India namely Maharashtra and Gujarat.

In Mumbai, the meeting which was officially launched by the Minister of Rural Development Hon. Jayant Patil, also covered up the inauguration of 2012th Indo-Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annually Magazine ”the African Review” as well as witnessed the business inspiring event of the MoU signing between the IACCI and the Togolese Chamber of Commerce.

Besides other African and India personages the inaugural meeting in Mumbai was also honoured by the brief remarks by the Zimbabwean Deputy Minister of Health Hon. Dr. D. Mombeshora and the DRC Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Dismas S.E. Magbengu.

Both Ministers as well had an extra opportunity to address the plenary of the Surat Indo Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industries meeting on 30th May, 2012 after the welcome remarks by the President of South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries Mr. Paresh Patel.

The essence of all interpretations were projected to steadily maintaining the existing mutual business cooperation between India and Africa as well as exploring furthers other areas of partnership in all aspects of economic and social development. The meeting was also profoundly appreciative with the affluent results of the Indo-Africa relationship, under the commendable initiatives and deliberate efforts of the IACCI.

They generously praised the IACCI Secretariat, especially the Secretary General Mrs. Sunanda for her continuous and unshakeable determination to promote Indo- Africa development cooperation by organizing these important annually events which provide opportunity for business communities as well as Diplomats to have constructive interaction on diverse business and development cooperation. Moreover, in Mumbai the participants were availed with multi-sectoral presentations made by Indian business Corporations including Diary and Diary Products presented by Dwarka Company; Pharmaceutical Health presented by Unihealth Consultancy and IT Software and Hardware presented by the TalentEdge.

Other presentations were on Solar Energy and Gold Mining presented by Shree Ganesh Jewelers; Infrastructure Energy Power presented by Offshore Infrastructure; Low Cost Housing presented by Sahyadri Industries; Education Sector presented by Edulight and Special presentation on IESS 2013 presented by the Mr. Sooraj Dhawan.

The usual dynamic rap-sessions were successful accomplished on 29th May 2012 in Mumbai as well as on 30th and 31st May, 2012 in Surat. The Sessions experienced serious business to business interactions between African Diplomats, Delegates and Indian business population.

The Tanzania High Commission in Delhi comprehensively utilized these typical sessions by holding separate business discussions with 55 representatives of Business groups in Mumbai and 35 in Surat in various sector ranging from direct investment to import/export business.

India business communities expressed their interests to do business with Tanzania and promised to continue their communication with Mission to the mutual success Other African Diplomatic Missions which were also present were Kenya, Ghana, Burundi, DRC, Gabon, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Eritrea, Togo, Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Sudan.

Observations:

• While there was an immense turnout of the African Delegates [about 800 from 13 African countries] especially French speaking countries, there was no single representative from Tanzania [Public/Private] other than one Official from the Tanzania Mission, New Delhi.

• The trend of Tanzania involvement in these [business oriented] meetings not only I for Afrika have been pitifully and steadily declining. During the 2011, I for Afrika Meeting which took place in Mumbai from 28th to 30th April, 2011, only few delegates from the Zanzibar national Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture – ZNCCIA and one Mission Official took part. While the Delegates from TCCIA who formerly pledged to be present, could not show-up.

• Various business firms [particularly during the Surat B to B sessions] such as like dairy and farm processing, agro processing, low cost housing, water purification, information technology, wood treatment, biomass machines & electric transformers, hotel construction etc entered into an agreements [MoUs] with their African counterparts to setup business entity in those African countries. Some of those countries are Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia etc.

Recommendations:

• The Mission should continue encourage Government Leaders [especially trade and investment sectors] as well as Private Sector to also grab the [above mentioned] business opportunities by regularly participating in the I for Afrika Meetings which is an ideal model off south-south cooperation.

• For the optimum results of the Mission’s commitment in branding Tanzania, the Mission’s promotional materials such as investment, business and tourism brochures to be used in such gatherings should be largely documented in CD/DVD format in order to comply with the customers [business community] demands and also to evade excess luggage.