On 13th July 2017, Dar es Salaam completed its 15-days long International Trade Fair famously known as the “Saba-saba”.
The exhibitions attracted more than 2,000 companies, both local and from other 40 countries, who showcased products, services, technologies and informed the public of their offer. What was unique in this year’s shows were the signalling of movement from “Pleasure” to “Business”. The organizers, Tanzania Trade Development Agency (TANTRADE) designated a day for business-to-business meeting, showcasing emerging sectors (which this year was apiculture) and interactions of businesses from the East African Community.
However a couple of challenges remain. The grounds are of ancient status and unable to host modern day style of exhibitions. HE. President John Magufuli, during the opening ceremony, challenged TANTRADE to change the mentality of investing tax-payers money on upgrading the exhibition grounds and instead engage the private sector; TPSF is ready with a proposal for the same. Cost of participation for SMEs remains a challenge; and distance and transport inefficiency for those who wish to visit the shows has hampered Dar es salaam dwellers’ enthusiasm for taking part in them. A new thinking is needed to revitalize Saba Saba.
Director – Policy, Research & Lobbying