Gulamhafeez Abubakar Mukadam, Chairperson of the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT) and mayor of Shiny Anga Municipal Council shares with us the benefits of investing in his country and his wish to see Africa united.
You attended your first Executive Committee of UCLG Africa (10 May 2016, Rabat), how do you appreciate this meeting?
It is my pleasure to attend my first executive committee of UCLG Africa, as new chairperson of Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT). I have achieved a lot. I have learnt so many things in just a meeting. I have seen people who are so advanced; they are talking about big things.
We are still behind in terms of green technologies. In my district, we are now working on small projects like putting the tarmac on the roads and in the town center, at least 13.1 km but it was a World Bank loan for thirty kilometers. We are try to beautify the town. We are having some traffic lights position to put there. We are having a big slaughterhouse soon. We are developing our town to become the industrial town. But overall, it is the will of the President, who just come in office, Dr John Joseph Magufuli. He wants Tanzania to be turned into industrial Tanzania. We are trying to find ways to make sure that his slogan “Hapacasy” that means, “We are here to work”. Therefore, we are working hard to see the industrialization of all types: small and big, investors from outside and local investors. We are thinking in these five years, we will achieve fast goal to see that we are now in the industrial era. We are sure that in short time Tanzania will be financially very wealthy
What is your ambition ahead for ALAT?
I am ambitious to turn the councils into business. I have already asked the planning officers by saying that the lane should not be located where they are the primary areas until unless the council gets the priority to go into business with private partnership. So that we get some funds out of the business and I also noticed that the councils are not so wealthy, so we have to depend on the central government to send us resources. But if we have this business from the land authorities and now we want to run on to business since the industries are coming, we will be having partnership with them. So I am quite sure this is the first issue that we are taking over. We are trying to make sure, that by two years we will be having some business in our councils. Hopefully, we will also try to see the agriculture section. We have water in some places where we can have irrigation systems, which means that will be having crop harvesting twice or thrice a year. Therefore, we are try to find means of try to bring in new people who are experiencing in agriculture like Morocco.
Morocco is good in agriculture I just hear this yesterday. We are trying to encourage people coming for outside, to teach our local people, invest there, help the country to go into agriculture fully. Because the next world war will not be nuclear, the next world war is food. I want to develop agriculture in my country, in full strength. I am quite sure I will succeed in this.
We have a lot of mines, gold mine, diamond mine, big mines. They are recognized well by the government. The big people have come from outside invest there, but there also local mines in sector. There are small miners and there good mines also.
Mining is a very important market in Tanzania. We also have sugar industry, cotton industry, and different types of industries. However, we are now encouraging people to invest more and more. Tanzania is a very peaceful country. I know that people knowing Tanzania is a peaceful country and people, who come to Tanzania are good businessmen and when there come here they do good business and after doing good business they go investing more and more.
We have many things to invest in Tanzania. People are coming from outside, they are invest in cement factories, iron factories, etc. I am quite sure these industries will come up and Tanzania will be booming. I am seeking for cooperation from the African States. If Africa is united, relations between all the African states will be. Because we have been long depending on the West and East. I’d like to bring a way in the UCLG Africa that, we should not depend on the West and the East, we should be self-dependent. Because I know, Africa has the ability, the capacity and the strength. Africa has the people, who are educated and very good technicians.
My view is that I will like all the African states to be united and be self-sufficient in all the aspects. The first priority should be doing business within African states in order to boost our own economies.
In Tanzania, do you have women in decision-making positions within Local Authorities?
We have women chairpersons of the councils. Because we have the district councils, the town councils, the municipal councils and the City councils. So in the district councils we have some women, in the town council we have also women.
Which pillar of UCLG Africa’s GADDEPA program, do you need the most for your national association?
What we need most is capacity building, but we also need the other two pillars on advocacy and knowledge management. Because we are still behind. If we get help form UCLG Africa, I am quite sure that we will go ahead in a very short time.
Can you share with us a Good Practice of ALAT?
We have been successful in one irrigation project in Mombo in Korogwe district. It is one of the best projects I ever seen. We also have another irrigation project in Tanga Region. People are getting one turn and now they are getting eight turns. Therefore, agriculture technologies are being developed and people are making more money and they are harvesting twice a year.