The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) was established in 1988. It was initiated with the support of the Tanzanian Government to strengthen the private sector. The establishment of the TCCIA was an important step in moving on from a centralized, planned economy towards a more open, mixed economy giving full scope to privately owned enterprises and farms.
TCCIA has opened regional offices in all 26 regions of mainland Tanzania and over 100 district centers, which are autonomous in their operational activities. Assistance by Swedish governmental development agency SIDA has played a vital role in establishment of the regional and district Chambers especially in providing training, office equipment and mobilization/sensitization of the business community.
These autonomous TCCIA Chambers in 21 regions of the country links the private sector to the Government with a view toward promoting the development of private enterprise. By linking issues central to business, the Chamber serves an arena where dialogue with the government serves to promote sustained growth and development of the private sector. All 21 Regional Chambers are non-profit, with nominal membership fees for its members.TCCIA is currently having over 16000 members.
TCCIA is not only operating on its own, it has established a wide network of organizations and associations and thus the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs of Tanzania (FAWETA) has decided to affiliate. This is a positive development as the two organizations have complementing objectives. TCCIA takes the advantage of the network to achieve results with the device “alone you are weak, together we are strong”.
Services provided by TCCIA to the business community include business information, training, advocacy, business supportive initiative (i.e. processing business license) and business promotion activities, for instance, trade fairs and missions.
TCCIA has for example expertise in many areas of interest to local businesses for their development. It can then offer these skills and information in the form of Seminars, Workshops and Training in a number of fields. All these are related to the business activities of the member companies. Therefore the demands of the companies direct the work of the Chamber. Trade promotion is encouraged through participation and representation in national and international Trade Fairs and international delegations. This in the long run will give member companies the possibility to increase trade opportunities.
The Chamber of Commerce receives a great number of business inquiries from all over the world. They concern companies trying to find customers or suppliers and are published in newsletters, which are distributed to all full-paid member companies.
TCCIA organizes a number of activities for its members and also for those who are not members. During the year several seminars/workshops and courses are taking place. It can be on different subjects but also for different target groups.
Advocacy and lobbying is taking place on various levels. The businessperson is welcome to the chamber to get advice and contacts on the spot or it is possible to forward questions via email. Lobbying is taking place on the topic of burning issues for businesspersons. Although, the business community is always welcome to give TCCIA the possibility to intensify or bring new issues on the agenda.
Business promotional events such as business delegations are very important for the international trade. Each year TCCIA as only host or as coordinator is organizing business delegations to various countries. TCCIA is also welcoming and hosting business delegations from other countries as well as co-operating with other institutions and organizations for these events.Today, TCCIA represents the private business sector throughout Tanzania.