In a momentous event on August 19, 2023, President Samia Suluhu graced the opening of a pivotal working session attended by board chairpersons and top executives of public institutions. Her presence embodied her commitment to catalysing change and driving progress in the realm of public enterprises.
President Samia Suluhu’s address at this gathering resonated with profound insights, elucidating her transformative vision for the nation’s public sector.
At the heart of her discourse was the imperative for public enterprises to evolve into engines of profit rather than conduits of perpetual losses. President Samia Suluhu’s resonating message encapsulated a multifaceted roadmap for achieving this pivotal transformation. Additionally, she outlined the elements that should be immediately relinquished to eliminate detrimental practices within the government machinery.
President Samia Suluhu’s tenure has been characterised by a resolute stance against inefficiency among civil servants and underperforming state-owned enterprises. The gathering witnessed her unswerving commitment to reinvigorating Tanzania’s public enterprises to assume the roles envisioned by the nation’s founding father, Mwalimu Nyerere.
As these public enterprises were established, their mandate was to be vehicles of public good, but due to limited financial capacity among citizens at that time, the government intervened by acquiring shares. The landscape has changed since then, with citizens now more financially empowered to participate in share ownership. President Samia Suluhu has resolutely reoriented these enterprises toward this original trajectory.
President Samia Suluhu emphatically addressed the issue of enterprises that embarked on the path of offering shares to citizens but faltered along the way, leading to the erosion of citizen ownership. She emphasized that state-owned enterprises should reinitiate the practice of offering shares to citizens, enabling them to become stakeholders in the national development endeavor.
Furthermore, President Samia Suluhu underscored the immense contributions of public institutions to the economy and overall development. These entities have been instrumental in providing services, constructing essential infrastructure, driving developmental initiatives, and bolstering the national budget. Drawing parallels with successful models in countries like Singapore, China, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, and Ethiopia, she highlighted their potential for Tanzania’s growth.
President Samia Suluhu lamented the history of public enterprises burdening the government’s coffers instead of generating profits. These enterprises had become a perennial drain on public resources, an issue she addressed with deep regret.
However, President Samia Suluhu identified a systemic issue within these institutions that extended beyond leadership. She acknowledged that flawed structures and practices had led them astray.
She called for a shift from the current paradigm, where these enterprises depend on government subsidies, to one where they operate independently and contribute substantially to the national economy. President Samia Suluhu highlighted instances where funds were misallocated, such as holding meetings abroad for extended periods.
Unyielding in her resolve, President Samia Suluhu declared that mismanagement would no longer be tolerated. She urged each entity to introspect and evaluate its financial contribution to the government, rather than perpetuating a cycle of draining state resources. She also implored politicians to refrain from interfering in the operations of public enterprises, thereby ensuring their efficacy.
Encouraging expansion beyond national borders, President Samia Suluhu envisioned public enterprises engaging in international investment ventures, creating avenues for capital influx. As foreign enterprises extract wealth from Tanzania, President Samia Suluhu underscored the need for reciprocal gains, shifting from mere resource exploitation to a symbiotic relationship.
In the transformative wake of President Samia Suluhu’s vision, Tanzania stands poised to realign its public enterprises with the ideals of prosperity and self-sufficiency. As the nation strides toward economic empowerment, guided by the unwavering leadership of President Samia Suluhu, the legacy of public institutions as catalysts of progress is being reborn.