Tanzania’s GDP in current prices was USD 57.4 billion in 2018, making it the 3rd largest economy in East Africa after Kenya and Ethiopia, and the 7th largest in Sub-Saharan Africa (source: World Bank). The leading contributors to Tanzania’s economy in 2018 were construction (23%), followed by trade and repair (11.1%), agriculture (10.7%), manufacturing (10%), information and communication (9.5%), transport and storage (7.3%), mining (5.2%), and others (23.1%). During the last decade (2009-2018) the country experienced strong economic growth with an average GDP growth rate of 6.6% while over the past year, Tanzania’s GDP growth slowed to 5.2%. In 2018, Tanzania’s annual inflation rate declined to 3.5% from 5.3% in 2017 and 7.9% in 2013. The WB classifies Tanzania as a low-income economy with a GNI per capita of USD 1,020 in 2018, against an average of USD 1,507 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Agriculture plays an important economic role as it employs 75% of the population. The raising of livestock takes place in those areas with low rainfall as they have no tsetse flies. The main cash crops include coffee, cotton, cashew nuts, sisal, tobacco, tea, coconuts, cloves, fruit, flowers and vegetables.
Tourism Tanzania’s spectacular tourist attractions include: the majestic spice Islands of Zanzibar – the ultimate paradise on the Indian Ocean; Mount Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa with a snow cap despite being very close to the Equator; the Olduvai Gorge – the Cradle of Mankind; the Ngorongoro Crater – the 7th natural wonder of the World; the Serengeti National Park – world renown for the largest concentration of wildlife and the spectacular wildebeest migration – there is nothing like it on this planet, the Selous Game Reserve – the largest game reserve in Africa; Lake Tanganyika – the deepest lake in Africa; and Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. All these endowments offer opportunities for leisure and investment in hotels, camps, water sports, hunting and tour operation.
For more information visit: Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism
Fishing – The Indian Indian Ocean and Lake Tanganyika have proved to be plentiful in fish, fueling the domestic fishing industry, while Lake Victoria is the source of all the Nile perch exported to the outside world.
Forestry and Beekeeping – Non-reserved forest-land (1,903.8 km2), forest/woodlands with national parks etc. (200 km2), and Gazetted forest reserves (1,251.7 km2).
Mining has attracted international interest with a large amount of resources invested in exploration for gold, base metals and diamonds, as well as tanzanite and various other gemstones, natural gas, iron ore, coal, phosphates, soda ash and salt. Companies from Australia, South Africa and Canada have invested in the gold sector as Tanzania is becoming one of Africa’s major producers.
Energy– Tanzania has many energy resources which include natural gas, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, coal, solar and wind power. Government is promoting the expansion of the industry. This is part of an active policy by the government to replace imported petroleum products with locally produced products.
Investment – The Tanzanian government has sought to attract foreign investment with the Investment Act of 1997 forming part of this process. It led to the creation of the Tanzania Investment Centre which identifies possible investment opportunities and aids the potential investor in navigating any procedural barriers that might exist. Tanzania established its own stock exchange in 1998 called the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
Trade – Coffee is the country’s main export product, while sisal and tea also earn significant amounts of foreign currency. Manufactured goods, cotton, cashew nuts, minerals and tobacco products are exported mainly to India, the UK, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Belgium. The country imports products such as consumer goods, machinery and transport equipment, oil and industrial raw materials. These products are supplied by South Africa, Japan, the USA, India, Brazil and China among others. Tanzania enjoys trade cooperation with the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The country also enjoys access to export markets through different preferential arrangements such as AGOA with the USA, EBA with the European Union – as well as with China through FOCAC, India through Indo-Africa Partnership and Japan through TICAD.
For more information visit: Ministry of industries and trade