The Hub is partnering with Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) to accelerate implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol. As part of this partnership, TPSF convened a Hub-funded public- private dialogue meeting on the implementation of protocol on February 2. The dialogue focused on assessing the status of implementation of Tanzania’s commitments to free movement of services, specifically engineering services –a vital sector for the growth of manufacturing. Participants at the meeting noted that although Tanzania committed to liberalize engineering services, there are still several measures that operate against professionals seeking engineering opportunities in Tanzania. The session was attended by members of the National Implementation Committee (NIC), and the National Monitoring Committee on the elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers, and other stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
A key law that requires to be changed is the Engineers Registration (Amendment) Act, No. 24, 2007. This law provides that a foreign engineer wishing to obtain registration by the board must satisfy the board that they are not ordinarily a resident in Tanzania; they must demonstrate that they want to enter Tanzania only for the purpose of specifically identified work. The law also provides an economic needs test –requiring the applicant to demonstrate that such qualifications, expertise and skills are not available among Tanzanian engineers or engineering technicians. The board may then, at its discretion, confer registration status to the applicant for a period not exceeding one year. The board may also terminate such licensing as it deems fit.
The private sector finds this law inhibiting given the growing engineering needs of the country for private sector operations. Several participants indicated that the law affects domestic and foreign investors alike, leading to downtime in their operations. They requested TPSF to take the recommendations of the dialogue to the Electricity Regulatory Board and to the relevant parliamentary committees, so that the necessary reforms to remove the stringent registration requirements are approved.