Tanzania Private Sector Foundation has launched African Franchise Accelerator Project (AFRAP) which aims to promote trade and grow the economy and create new jobs in the country. The project which will run for five years and is anticipated to create more than 30, 0000 direct jobs and more than 50, 0000 indirect one, according to TPSF Executive Director, Mr. Francis Nanai.

AFRAP is funded through a generous grant of 799,800 US Dollars from the people of Japan and Austria and the fund is managed by the African Development bank. "AFRAP project of Tanzania will support and nurture 90 local small and medium sector enterprises (SMEs) and 10 aggregated micro operators transformation into franchise brands. This will help SMEs and micro operators who have little chance of growing to become national brands and to have access markets regionally and continentally,"

He elaborated that AFRAP will deal with provision of training, seminars, conferences and franchise exhibitions, disseminate information; and actively seek collaboration with other national and international franchising associations. "AFRA will also incubate the Franchise Association of Tanzania (FATA) to become the industry self-regulatory mechanism at project closure. This is because in franchise-developed markets, franchise associations play a key role in regulating the franchise sector and guided by the WFC to in turn provide guidance and support to franchise operators."

He said that because the franchise system is new to Tanzania, AFRAP will ensure that current hurdles in the legal system are identified and recommend amendments necessary to support the growth of a robust franchising culture in the country. For his part, AFRAP Project Lead Consultant, Mr. Wambugu Wa Gichohi said that to start with, the project will select 100 Tanzanian SME's from different parts of the country and train them and support them on how to join franchise business and sell regionally and continentally.

He said that the conditions for selecting the SME's to participate in AFRAP project will be based on the ones with audited financial books for the past three years and proof that they have been making sales turnover of not less than 250m/-.