This is the initiative by which the NEEC works in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to promote domestic carpentry industry. From around the year 2000 our country was flooded with nicely decorated but mostly very low quality imported furniture which dominated in our market and therefore posing a very stiff competition to the local made furniture. On the other hand the entities that procured these imported furniture were subjected to the crises of how to keep scraps resulting from destruction of these un-repairable furniture while at the same time required to procure new furniture each year.
Promotion of the industry is done through training, facilitation of linkages with large investors, associations’ formation and management, researches, advocacy for markets and raw materials accessibility. Implement of this programme started in the year 2008 when NEEC carried out a survey on the achievements and challenges facing the industry and thereafter facilitated a workshop that discussed the survey report. The workshop resolved the way forward out of which advised the Government to stop procuring imported furniture. This was a big achievement which on the other hand brought up a challenge on how to empower the local carpentry SMEs so as to be able to satisfy such a big market. To overcome this challenge the workshop further resolved that the carpentry SMEs must unite so as to attain a common voice in advocating for their rights and privileges, and at the same be able to pool resources together so as to minimize the challenges associated with lack/shortage of capital, expertise, collateral and many others.
As a way of injecting starter-kick to implementation of workshop’s resolutions the Council (NEEC) facilitated training to carpentry SMEs on Entrepreneurship, Cooperatives and Associations’ formation and management and Quality Production Management. This paved the way for carpentry SMEs to establish their association called Tanzania Woodworking Federation (TAWOFE).
From 2011 to 2013 the NEEC has been facilitating TAWOFE members to participate in the exhibitions such as Dar es Salaam International Trade fairs and in the 50 years Tanzania Independent Anniversary Fair. This has improved their sales so much though the challenge is how to get capital satisfying their customers’ needs. To overcome this challenge TAWOFE under Council’s facilitation have established Dar es Salaam Woodworks Cluster Initiative SACCOS. They have gone further to purchasing 7 acres’ land for industrial park development.
NEEC has achieved to initiate linkage through supporting MOU signing between TAWOFE and Furniture Centre Tanzania Limited where by the two firm will work together in the areas of capacity building through acquiring expertise in production, marketing, procurement and management.
NEEC will tirelessly continue to advocate for Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private sector to award furniture related tenders to locally made furniture manufactured by local producers in the country.
Institutions and organizations with which NEEC collaborate to perform these functions are many in relation to the nature of function needed to be performed. Some of them include SIDO, TIRDO, VETA, Universities and Colleges, SHIVIMITA, Development Partners, Civil Society etc.