- Published on 20 Jan 2017
- HR Pulse
As part of the nine-month 2016 BANKSETA IEDP Immersion, Henley Business School Africa students visited Tanzania and later in the programme will visit Henley in the UK.
The Henley programme commenced in June last year with final presentations in February 2017. The course comprised five blocks, beginning with lectures at Henley followed by the week-long trip to Tanzania. Lectures then continued at Henley and delegates then visited London and Henley UK where the group attended a lecture series at Henley's UK campus in Oxfordshire.
The BANKSETA IEDP supports transformation and personal development through partnerships to enable stakeholders to advance the national and global position of the broader banking and microfinance industry.
The week-long trip to Tanzania included visits to MELT Group, Kinu Tech Hub, Africa Development Bank, Bank of Tanzania, Akiba Commercial Bank, African Leadership Network and various government ministries.
Kinu Tech Hub nurtures young digital entrepreneurs and provides a platform for collaboration, support and growth. They discussed their views with students on what they perceive to be banks' somewhat boxed-in thinking which they said often causes banks exhibit in sufficient creativity and innovation.
Israel Chasosa, managing director of Akiba Commercial Bank, which specialises in micro-financing, said agency banking is key to meeting the informal sector needs. "Partnerships are crucial," he said. "The aim is to find mechanisms to set up cheap branches. Tanzania has a large stokvel market which is untapped, presenting similar challenges to South Africa. There has been little focus on the farming community which Akiba identified as a target market."
The meeting with the legal team of African Leadership Network provided a different perspective on Tanzania's current political climate from what the group were exposed to over the first part of the week. One of the delegates highlighted that Tanzania has enormous potential with its resource availability.
Tim Armstrong is an Investment Promotion director that works with the Tanzanian Government. He addressed the class as though there were a delegation evaluating opportunities for foreign direct investment (FDI).
"This was a fascinating experience in itself. In addition to promoting Tanzania as a destination for FDI, he provided an understanding of opportunities for trade in the context of different trade agreements and how this affects the Tanzanian cotton and apparel trade. It is clear that the manufacturing sector provides huge opportunities for growth through foreign investment," said one delegate.
"Tanzania is on the right journey towards industrialisation. Big retailers and fashion brands believe in Tanzania and its capability. This can help drive Africans to prefer products that are manufactured in Africa. Many opportunities exist for South African retailers and fashion brands to come to Tanzania. South Africa has a huge role to play in upliftment of its own people, including its neighbours. Tanzania still faces many challenges, but opportunities abound. Industrialisation seems to hold the key to Tanzania's future," he said.