Kigoma: Boosting profitable agricultural activities in host communities and refugee camps (en)
The region of Kigoma, in the north-western part of Tanzania, is host to a community of over 300,000 refugees coming from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). The Tanzanian government priority is to turn Kigoma into a trade and business hub at a crossroad with the neighbouring countries. The International Trade Centre (ITC) is helping women and youth from the camps of Kasulu, Kibondo and Kakonko districts building sustainable livelihoods in the agricultural sector.
From local to regional markets
ITC interventions focus on improving agricultural and post-harvest management practices for beans, cassava and maize within the farming community. Its actions seek to connect women and young farmers to new markets. It is in this spirit that ITC is working towards the establishment of the Sofya common market that will attract some 15,000 customers from across the Burundian and Congolese borders but also Kigoma areas.
Earlier this year, and in collaboration with Tanzanian business and sector associations, Kigoma authorities, and regional organizations, ITC organized the Tanganyika Business Summit in Kigoma. The summit served as a platform for the Tanzanian business community to expand their networks. With some 400 visitors from home and abroad was also an opportunity for the Kigoma farmers to meet with potential buyers from Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, and Zambia.
While activities will be pursued in pilot districts, new requests for similar assistance have been received from another surrounding area such as Buhigwe.
Discussions about the establishment of a business youth centre is ongoing with the objective of supporting young aspiring entrepreneurs with training, coaching, knowledge but also Internet and library access.
These activities are part of the Kigoma Joint Programme under the United Nations Development Assistance Plan II funded by the Swedish and Norwegian governments.