It’s entirely true that Tanzania needs more development. It’s also true that it needs more rural and agricultural development, the country has bounteous land a lot of which is un- or barely- used. The question is, how to encourage that development of that land? The correct answer not being to confiscate it. But that’s what Magufuli’s Tanzania is in fact doing at present:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Dodoma — The government has warned Mohamed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (MeTL), whose majority shares are owned by Mohammed Dewji, that it will revoke ownership of its (the firm’s) six farms if it (the company) fails to develop them as a matter of urgency.[/perfectpullquote]
The one single most important thing that encourages investment, and thus development, is security of property. Why would anyone invest in bringing a farm up to date and to full production if the government can just walk in any day and take that farm – plus, obviously enough, the added investment – away again.
That they’ve not developed the land as yet doesn’t change this:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Mr Lukuvi’s statement comes barely one month since the government revoked ownership of six farms owned by Mr Dewji’s MeTL in Tanga.[/perfectpullquote]
Why would he invest in these ones today if the government’s taken away ones in the past? That they have taken past ones means, of course, that there’s a definite disincentive to invest now, isn’t there? And which bank would lend for such investment given that the security is available only at the whim of government?
People will only invest if there is security of ownership. So, kill that security and you’ll kill further investment. Which really isn’t what a place as poor as Tanzania needs now, is it?