Investing in sport services sector has huge prospective in Tanzania

Although investing on sport industry in Tanzania wasn’t striking as compared to other areas such as mining, tourism, real estate, and the business sector in general during invest in Tanzania a Land of Limitless Opportunities, launched by His excellent Vice President Dr. Shein, on behalf of His excellent President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete in my vision there is a room for government to gain substantially if investment on sport industry get equally recognition. Without going into the details, and as far as Tanzania could benefit this notion may be looked at from two identical angles of the input of sport to development and the impact of the level of development on the promotion of sports.

Various studies and following a line of investigation around the global have highlighted the considerable reward to be derived from the regular and moderate practise of sport as an integral component of one’s lifestyle: improved health and fewer accidents at work, better social integration, and a greater variety of recreational opportunities for the individual and the family. In the western world, we now see measurable economic impact of sporting activities for all on health, employment, job creation, skills training spending etc. For example, the marketing of sports items and using sport to sell other types of goods, in particular through publicity and sponsorship, is an important and steadily growing phenomenon that Tanzania need to consider in its next years to come as its officials at different capacities within and outside struggles to attracts investors as well as its diasporas to return, invest and use their skills back home i.e. Tanzania.

Within the context of attracting investment and setting an environment for private sector to grow in Tanzania, there is a need to recognise that sport is both a consumer good and a consumer of goods. Numerous swots attest to the rapid development of the sports economy as an independent branch of economics and have highlights the amount of turnover generated by sport such as the building of infrastructures, the manufacture of capital and consumer goods, and the provision of services, the dissemination of information, revenue from sports events, advertising expenditure and sponsorship budgets. While several years ago, some countries conducted a number of highly instructive studies to identify how to benefit on these issues, this is yet to happen in Tanzania and not being an agenda on 18th April 2008 historical event on attracting investors to invest in Tanzania leaves a lot to be desired. In the United Kingdom and within other European countries, for example, my on-going market research aimed to identify on how Tanzania as a member of the commonwealth could benefit from lessons learned in these industry demonstrate that the total amount of resources provided by sport to the country (ies) is four times greater than expenditure on sport in the budget. This research is beginning to show that the impact of sport on the economy that Tanzania could benefit is huge and investing on sporting activities could lead to the employment creation of more than 400,000 jobs a year and a growth in domestic consumption of billion shillings.

In general, it is estimated that the sports economy is worth between 1 and 2 per cent of GNP in various countries, and is tending to grow faster than most other sectors. At the same time, this economy is becoming increasingly international, claiming a growing share of world trade. It should be noted that such figures do not take into account the very considerable contribution of countless volunteer’s active at all organizational levels of sport. With regard to the funding of physical and sporting activities, attention should be drawn to the low level of resources available in Tanzania, and to the tendency of public authorities and private sector. Ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to engage regularly in physical and sporting activities must be seen as an integral part of development. Some would even claim that the close relationship and growing interdependence between sport and development is in fact a form of symbiosis. While this relationship may indeed be symbiotic, it is no doubt dialectical in the sense that numerous interactions and reciprocal influences may be observed between the development of sport and economic and socio-cultural growth.

As an illustration of such interaction, experiments have been carried out in some modern countries seeking to link the promotion of sport to the development of rural areas. Experience shows that by promoting physical and sporting activities in the countryside, often in cycle with other cultural, social or touristic activities, the rural environment may once again become a setting of hospitality and who knows this could help to reduce the number of youth trying to migrate to urban areas for better life. In this way, the practise of physical and sporting activities promotes the development of open-air sites, the building and maintenance of neighbourhood, district facilities, the provision of services, and the creation of part-time and full-time jobs, that appears to remain a big challenge to policy makers.

The underdevelopment of sport is both an aspect and a consequence of economic underdevelopment. The consequence of underdevelopment in sport is a “brawn drain”. Given that developing countries such as Tanzania has an overriding obligation to meet the basic needs of their populations, ought top-class sport be included in that category? Are there not more urgent and pressing priorities? Does it make economic sense for those Tanzania to pour money into spectator sport? Whenever these questions have been raised they have prompted fairly sharp exchanges. As a general rule, however, it is recognized that sport, and more especially top-class sport, is expensive, and that its cost tends to rise faster than the number of players or athletes. With the internationalization of the media, spectator sport, a modern form of entertainment, has become one of the main forms of mass communication, helping to shape world public opinion, and as such is now a key issue. This issue can only be analyzed by taking into account the complex relationship between sport, the media and multinational companies. The debate on this point reveals two types of logic: the one purely commercial, and the other political in nature. Quite likely it is non-commercial considerations that prompt the leaders of increasingly numerous countries to dream of hosting the major games such as Olympics. More and more voices are being raised to urge limits to the gigantic and sophisticated nature of the facilities and equipment, in favour of more systematic decentralization of major events and a more balanced representation of specialists from developing countries in international sports bodies.

In short, it might be worthwhile to restate the following considerations in order to better understand the potential contributions of physical culture and sport to economic development in its various aspects: enhanced quality and performance from the workforce and the sports media and industries, and the use, development and protection of the environment. It can thus be seen that support for physical education and sport is a sound investment and must be treated as such by economic decision-makers.

For details contact: Hildebrand Shayo (PhD) or [email protected]

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