Three junior lecturers from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, completed their six-week fellowships at UNCTAD on 14 December 2007.
Under the guidance of mentors from UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods, Services and Commodities, they worked on research assignments of specific relevance for their country - on the liberalization of financial services under GATS, regional integration, and fiscal regime for the mining sector.
A presentation to UNCTAD staff of research findings by the three Tanzanian lecturers concluded this year's series of Vi fellowships for academics from the Least Developed Countries, sponsored by the Government of Finland.
"Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most protected regions with regard to financial services. There is therefore a need to access the economic impact of liberalization in this sector", said Mesia Ilomo, who worked on a research assignment on "The economic impact of financial liberalization within the context of GATS: a case of sub-Saharan Africa". "A major value-added of Mesia's research was the construction of a financial liberalization index", says Lucian Cernat, who acted as Mesia's mentor.
The second fellow, Msafiri Njoroge, dwelled into the reasons for which a country chooses to enter into this or other regional integration grouping and the economic analysis that should be part of such decision-making. With support from his mentor Samuel Munyaneza, he made a considerable progress on the gathering and analysis of data for his study on "Potential trade creation and trade diversion considerations in deciding on a regional trade integration partner: the case of Tanzania in the East African Community".
In the light of the current commodity boom, the third lecturer, George Gandye, envisages undertaking PhD studies on the topic of "The relationship between FDI inflows and government revenue in the Tanzanian mining sector". "The important issue", says Gandye, "is to find an optimal fiscal regime for the country that will strike a balance between the wish to maximize the government revenue and the need to attract foreign direct investment. Long-term sustainability of such a regime is crucial". Gandye was supported in his research by Olle Ostensson, UNCTAD's prime expert on the mining sector.