Geography and Population

The United Republic of Tanzania is an East African nation with a total area of 945.087 km2. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.

Tanganyika gained independence in 1962, while the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab Sultan on 12 January 1964. On 26 April 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar united as the United Republic of Tanzania.

The population of Tanzania is approximately 58.7 million people, 1.3 million of whom reside on the islands of Zanzibar. More than 100 different ethnic groups are native to Tanzania, which is also home to many immigrants from other countries.

The native tribes of Tanzania are predominantly of Bantu origin, who represent approximately 95% of the countrys inhabitants. The remaining tribes are Nilotic speakers and indigenous hunters-gatherer descendants. Less than 1% of Tanzania’s inhabitants consist of Asians, Arabs, and Europeans.

Tanzania is a unitary presidential republic. The parliament of Tanzania is unicameral, with 324 seats, 236 of which are elected by popular vote. The head of the executive branch is the President of Tanzania, who is elected by direct popular vote for a 5-year term. The Prime Minister of Tanzania is appointed by the president.

The countrys constitution permits the president to nominate ten members to the parliament who are non-elected but who are eligible to be cabinet members.

Economic Overview

Tanzania has a GDP worth 55 billion dollars. The GDP grew 6.6% in 2017. This growth is underpinned by infrastructural development and an expanding consumer base. Heavy infrastructure investment in rail, ports and roads is expected to a main driver of GDP growth.

Agriculture: Agriculture is crucial to Tanzanias economy, employing nearly 80% of the country’s workforce and contributing 25% to the GDP. Urban households, which constitutes 25% of the total population, perform agricultural activities for subsistence, such as growing vegetables, poultry keeping, and dairy farming.

Service: Services accounted for 47% of GDP in 2015. The most rapidly growing private service sectors in the first half of 2016 were transport and storage (17.4% growth), financial and insurance activities (13%), and information and communication (13%).

Tourism: Because of the country’s natural beauties, attractive wildlife and tourism infrastructure, Tanzania became the 7th most visited tourist destination in sub-Saharan Africa. Tourism-related activities account for approximately 15% of GDP and 12% of the country’s employment.

According to the Tanzanian government, since 2012, the sector has been the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment, after mining and manufacturing.

Construction: The construction industry is a growing sector in Tanzania’s economy and includes real state, transport infrastructure, and other civil works, such as the water supply. The growth rate of the construction sector was 17.6% in 2015. According to the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), this growth was attributed to the ongoing construction of roads and residential and non-residential buildings.

According to the International Monterey Fund “IMF” nearly two-thirds of adults have access to financial services, mainly due to the expansion of mobile money. The banking supervision framework has been strengthened.

Transportation: Tanzania’s transport sector rose by 55% in value during the period 2009–2014, from 1.3 to 2.1 billion dollars. According to Tanzania’s 2025 Development Vision, investment in infrastructure, particularly in the development of the road network, is the government’s top priority.

Road transport is the most widely used form of transport in Tanzania, transporting over 90% of all passengers and accounting for 75% of all freight traffic in the country. After road, railway transport is the second most important mode of transport and is critical for transporting long distance freight along the main transport corridors in Tanzania.

Tanzania has 3,676 km of railway lines operated by two railway systems, the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) and Tanzania–Zambia Railways (TAZARA).

Telecommunications: The telecommunications sector underwent liberalization in 2005, ending the exclusivity of government-owned telecommunications monopoly, TTCL. Subsequent policy reforms have made the telecom sector one of the most liberal telecom sectors in Africa. Any prospective investor can obtain licences to operate various telecommunications services.

Tanzania’s telecommunications sector is one of the country’s most competitive sectors.  Mobile phone penetration is approaching 70%, with an annual subscriber base growth of more than 20%.

Manufacturing: Tanzania’s industrial sector contributes approximately 27.6% to the country`s GDP and has grown an average of 8% annually over the past 5 years. Because agriculture is the cornerstone of the Tanzanian economy, the manufacturing industry centres on processing local agriculture goods.

The manufacturing sector in Tanzania consists mainly of food processing (24%), textiles and clothing (10%), chemicals (8.5%), and other products, including beverages, leather and leather products, paper and paper products, publishing, printing, and plastics.

Mining: Tanzania is endowed with diverse natural resources, some of which have been discovered recently. The country’s mineral deposits include precious stones, such as gold, diamonds, tanzanite and rubies; industrial minerals, such as iron, tin, copper, phosphate, limestone, and gypsum; and fuels, including natural gas and coal. In the second quarter of 2016, the mining sector recorded 20.5% growth.

In the period preceding Tanzania`s independence, precious stones represented 10% of the country’s GDP. In 1992, however, this rate dropped to 1% due to unfavourable investment conditions necessitating structural reforms, such as the lifting of the ban on precious stones and the abolition of export taxes to encourage investment. Currently, mining contributes less than 4% to Tanzania’s economy.