April 24, 2015, a new Mwenge wood carving Cluster located in Mwenge Kinondoni Dares Salaam has been urged to focus on Cluster development initiative as a platform to improve its business.

COSTECH Director of Innovation, Enterpreneurship and Comprtitiveness Dr. Dugushilu Mafunda (standing) speaks during the Mwenge wood carving Cluster training at COSTECH. looking on is Mr. Deo Kafwa, facilitator of the Mwenge wood carving Cluster.

The call was given in Dar es Salaam by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) Director of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness Dr. Dugushilu Mafunda when launching three day training for that Cluster at COSTECH head offices.

He said Cluster development was one of the strategies most of the developed countries used to improve the performance of different economic activities. “The difference between developed countries and developing countries is in terms of application of technologies and innovations. Sweden for example has taught us a big lesson the way it had utilized the potential of cluster initiatives to advance economically “He noted

He said COSTECH is the think tank which had partnered with SIDA to spearhead cluster development concept in the trinity of Government, private sector and academia. “What COSTECH does is linking the private sector with academia. We have organized this training in collaboration with facilitators from University of Dar es salaam Business School who will expose you to different market strategies “He hinted.

He said that training would provide enough exposure to the 30 cluster members who attended the training and promised COSTECH and SIDA to continue supporting cluster initiatives in the country. Dr. Mafunda said in order for the wood curving industry to grow in the country, entrepreneurs were supposed to form different business groups to revolutionalize the industry.

“Cluster initiatives are organizations or projects that are organized as collaborations between a diverse number of public and private sector actors, such as firms, government agencies, and academic institutions” Dr.  Mafunda said insisting that COSTECH was very committed to improve technology and innovation for that cluster. He said in order for Mwenge wood curving cluster to compete in the market it was supposed to improve their products through learning various technology and innovation strategies.

“You may have very good products but if you fail to improve them through new technologies and innovations, obvious you can’t break it through the market “He pointed out.

Assistant Lecturer from University of Dar es Salaam Business School Mr. Mesia Ilomo(standing) facilitating the training to the Mwenge Wood curving Cluster. Looking on are members of the Mwenge Wood curving Cluster initiative.

For his part Assistant Lecturer from University of Dar es Salaam Business School Mr. Mesia Ilomo who facilitated that training said the wood curving industry in Tanzania had been underutilized.

“We have so far not very much benefited from the wood curving industry because of poor marketing strategies. It is approximated that South Africa contributes about 500-2000 Million US Dollars per year while Indonesia exports about 100 Million US Dollars per year “He said posing a great challenge to the wood curving industry in Tanzania. So far COSTECH and SIDA has provided seed funds and training to 70 Cluster development initiatives in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.