The launch of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce (EU) Ireland took place on Saturday 13 July at the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s, Booterstown, Dublin. The launch included exhibits from businesses in various sectors, as well as charities. The chamber has been established to encourage trade between Tanzania and Ireland, and – further afield – East Africa and Europe.

At the launch, some opening remarks were made by Ambassador Anisa Mbega, who represented the Tanzanian government at the event.

“I would like to thank and commend Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, in Ireland and EU, particularly Ms Edna Hogan, for initiating and being involved in establishing this very important Chamber of Commerce that will definitely open doors for business and investment between our two countries […] It is my thought that Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Ireland will pave a way towards expanding the market for our products abroad. We highly welcome investors and business people to come and invest in Tanzania.”

The ambassador cited rich natural resources, a committed labour force, an attractive location which serves six landlocked countries with its three major ports, good governance, and economic and political stability among the reasons for potential investment.

“All of this makes Tanzania a better place to invest and trade,” she said.

Richard Boyd Barrett

Richard Boyd Barrett

Guest of honour on the day was People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who spoke about the change in the nature of the relationship between Europe and Africa from one of exploitation to one of fairness and equality. Being Irish, as a people who had been colonised, he said, “gives us a special role in trying to establish a new kind of relationship when it comes to trade, commerce and engagement between our societies and our cultures. We can help pioneer a new and better way of doing trade, a new and better benign form of globalisation, that isn’t exploitative, that isn’t based on military power or force or coercion, but is based on genuine cooperation and genuine mutual benefit, where we actually care not just about our own self-interest – whatever that is – but that it’s about what we can mutually gain out of this relationship.”

The TD then cut the ribbon to open the Chamber certificate with founder Edna Lyatuu Hogan.

Cllr Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Cllr Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Councillor Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, representing Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, cited Irish companies already working in Tanzania. She also said that Tanzania was well placed, both geographically and in terms of population, to be a good country in which to do business.

“A chamber such as this can be a really excellent resource for Irish business looking to expand, seeking advice and local guidance, as well as hopefully providing opportunities for partnership and collaboration,” she said.

Closing remarks were left to Chamber founder and CEO Edna Lyatuu Hogan, who claimed to be nervous in the days preceding the launch.

Chamber Founder Edna Lyatuu Hogan

Chamber Founder Edna Lyatuu Hogan

“Luckily,” she continued, “I have come across many amazing people who are very encouraging, and when I shared the idea with them, I received amazing support from my government via the embassies, they gave me all the support I needed.” She also expressed gratitude to her family and friends, and “the government also in Ireland – through Chambers Ireland – were very, very supportive and they actually showed me what I needed to do because setting up a chamber is not just like a normal process of setting up a company. It’s a completely different game altogether.

“By the way, we are open for business,” she added. “We launch today but we are already operational. We have amazing projects. We are already busy. Join the chamber! Our membership is for everyone. We’re very inclusive here. We even have membership for university students because we are great believers in practical learning in terms of business. We have members that are charities, and businesses small and large. Tanzania is ready to partner in all sectors.”

Individuals, companies, organisations and charities can all avail of membership of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce (EU) Ireland. Students can partake in volunteering and internship opportunities. You can sign up here.