The crowds gathered with excitement in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, as the first ever Tanzanian plantation forestry conference took place on 15th and 16th November 2016. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Tanzania, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, and Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development to attract investments into Tanzanian plantation forestry sector by communicating crucial knowledge of the sector and the investment climate to potential investors and key stakeholders.
Investments to plantation forestry sector took centre stage in Dar es Salaam in mid-November. Indufor was well-represented in the event with a presentation held by Mr. Asko Siintola and a panel discussion participated by Mr. Petri Lehtonen. The conference was also a part of the itinerary of Team Finland’s Finnish Business Delegation, led by Mr. Jyrki Salmi from Indufor.
The event was opened by the Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Prof. Jumanne Maghembe and opening remarks were given by Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland Mr. Kai Mykkänen. The ministers emphasised the importance of forestry on the development of Tanzanian economy and welcomed new investments into the sector in Tanzania.
The discussion during the two-day event focused on land tenure and other social issues of industrial scale investments into forestry in the sub-Saharan context. The presentation by Indufor (Petri Lehtonen & Asko Siintola) dealt with integrating small and medium scale tree growers into industrial value chains through organisation and cooperation. Other main issues in discussion were estimations of existing plantation resources in the country, performance of current plantation and related value added industrial chains, emerging need to develop industrial infrastructure as well as environmental and social issues of plantation forestry in the region.
The event paved way for future investments into forestry in Tanzania and in the East African region. In connection to the event, interested investors were taken to the field to visit sites for potential investment in Ruvuma, Njombe and Iringa Regions in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. The field visits were organised by the Private Forestry Programme that Indufor provides the lead technical assistance to.
The presentation can be found from here.