A market under construction in Ubungo, Ubungo Municipality in Dar es Salaam, known as the East African Market, has raised concerns among traders that it might overshadow the Kariakoo market.

Dodoma. The government has allayed Tanzanians’ fears that the East African Market located in the China Plaza Building in Ubungo, Dar es Salaam, will not overshadow the Kariakoo market.

This was stated on Monday, May 20, 2023, by the Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr. Ashatu Kijaji, during a seminar for Members of Parliament at the Pius Msekwa Hall.

The seminar involved two institutions under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which are the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (Brela).

She said that the East African Market being built in Ubungo has raised concerns among Kariakoo traders, and they have had meetings with them more than three times to discuss this matter.

“As a government team, we are working diligently. At Ubungo Plaza, 2002 shops are being built, while there are 40,000 shops in Kariakoo.

As a government, we are trying to understand where this fear is coming from; will 2002 shops kill 40,000 shops? We are working on this issue,” she said.

She said her ministry is collaborating with the Office of the President, Regional Administration and Local Government (Tamisemi), which is responsible for the Ubungo Municipality, to review the contract they entered into and how they are proceeding with it.

She said they are also working with the Office of the Prime Minister (Labour, Youth, Employment, and People with Disabilities) because they are the ones who issue work permits to foreigners in the country.

She said the goal is to understand what the Chinese citizens who are said to be selling flowers in the country are doing here, based on their permits.

“What they registered is what they are doing, so the government team is working on it, and we are heading in the right direction. Once we complete, we will bring it to Parliament,” she said.

Dr. Kijaji said there are reports that 98% of the people who applied to do business in those shops are Tanzanians.

“Ninety-eight percent of the people who took the 2002 stalls are Tanzanians. Now, this continues to give us the picture that 98% of those who took the stalls are Tanzanians. How then do the Chinese come in to kill our market?” she said.

She said they are handling it with great care, and by July 2024, when the shops are scheduled to open, the truth about the matter will be known.

Earlier, contributing, Special Seats MP Mwanaisha Ulenge asked about the building; it is said that instead of Tanzanians going to China, they will get their needs in that building.

“We will consider that place (goods) as a point of collection; the fear in the streets is that we are going to kill the Kariakoo market. We ask to gain understanding on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Kariakoo,” she said.

In response to the MPs’ concerns, the Director of Licensing at Brela, Andrew Mkapa, said there is a need to educate Tanzanians so that they know their rights when entering into partnerships with foreign investors during company registration.

He said it is difficult to know if a Tanzanian will be exploited when they register companies with these foreigners.

The Director-General of TBS, Dr. Athuman Ngenya, said the agency will continue to improve infrastructure and create a conducive environment for timely service delivery to promote business and boost the industrial economy.

“The goal is to promote the establishment of safe and quality products in the country as one way to contribute to the national income,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Brela, Godfrey Nyaisa, said that over the past seven years through the electronic registration system (ORS), there has been an increase in registered companies from 119,000 to 205,000 as of May 2024.

Acting Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Industries, Trade, Agriculture, and Livestock, Dr. Medard Kalemani, commended the government of President Samia Suluhu Hassan for making major reforms to TBS and Brela, which faced significant operational challenges.