President Samia Suluhu Hassan said building the country’s economy, increasing efficiency in services delivery, strengthening the fight against Covid-19 and mobilising Tanzanians’ involvement were the country’s priorities in 2022.

These are the four major issues unveiled yesterday during her public address to wish the nation a happy and prosperous New Year, 2022.

The Head of State also took the opportunity to list the achievements and challenges recorded as she evaluated 2021.

Speaking in a live televised event, President Hassan said that, as stated in the country’s third phase of the Five Year National Development Plan 2021/22-2025/26, the government’s focus would be to promote individual’s economic growth and that of the country at large. “The government is looking at 2022 as a year to counter challenges that reduced Tanzanians’ ability to prosper in their daily lives,” she said. She urged the public and private sectors to start the New Year by focusing on increasing efficiency in production and quality services delivery.

“Let us focus on promoting our economy and improving efficiency. Let us continue paying taxes as appropriate, and support the country’s development,” she said. The President urged the people to participate in the national population and housing census slated for this year in order to enable the government make appropriate development plans for its people.

Regarding Covid-19, she said the global fight against the pandemic was under the way especially the new wave of Omicron variant which is spreading fast.

“Follow guidance of health-care experts as I encourage you to receive the jabs. Although vaccines do not prevent people from infections, rather inoculations reduce severity of the disease once infected,” she said.

Evaluating 2021, she said Tanzania was among 11 countries whose economy performed better despite the adverse impacts of Covid-19 pandemic.

“In order to prevent further impacts, the government took several steps to control inflation that remained within three and five percent target as well as maintaining $6,253 billion of foreign reserves enough to procure goods and services for a period of seven months,” she said.

She said in the country’s efforts to attract investment and reinstate money in the circulation, different policy, legal, tax and administrative measures were taken. “As a result we have managed to increase the number of projects attracted from 186 sources worth $1.013 billion in 2020 to 237 valuing $4.144 billion in 2021,” she said.

President Hassan said last year the Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank (TADB) was given Sh208 billion to reach more farmers despite the noted challenges of fertilizers’ shortages.

She said the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and Cereals and Other Produce Board of Tanzania (CPB) were in 2021 facilitated to procure 950,000 tonnes of maize. “By December 2021, the country managed to attract 1.4 million tourists as compared to 620,867 who visited during the same period in 2020, which is equivalent to an increase of 779,133 tourists. Our expectation is that number will increase further in 2022,” she said.

She said Covid-19 and inflation adversely affected the country’s economic growth last year.

During the year, President Hassan said the country lost two sitting leaders, former President John Magufuli, and Vice President Seif Shariff Hamad of the Zanzibar Government of National Unity (GNU).

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