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Tanzania Country Overview

In 1964, the sovereign republics of Zanzibar and Tanganyika merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania covers 947,300 square kilometers, with 54,337 square kilometers of inland water. Pemba Island is 984 km2 in size, while Zanzibar Island is 1,657 km2. Tanzania is one of East Africa’s five countries, located south of the equator.

Tanzania’s mainland is sandwiched between the Tanganyika region, the Victoria and Nyasa Great Lakes, and the Indian Ocean. It is bordered by eight countries: Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mozambique. It has a coastline of about 1,400 kilometers. Tanzania gives natural access to the region because six of these countries are landlocked.

Tanzania’s GDP increased at an average of 6.4 percent each year from 2006 to 2014.

This is a fantastic track record for growth. It has consistently placed among the world’s top 20 fastest-growing economies, outpacing the Sub-Saharan African average of 5.2 percent. Overall, the picture hints to a bright future, with per capita income rising at a rate of 7% on average, increasing consumption. The trade imbalance notifies potential investors that the European Union (EU), the United States of America, and South Africa, to name a few, all have significant potential to explore and utilize existing duty-free market opportunities. Over a ten-year period, exports increased by nearly 90%, while imports increased by 70%.


According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Tanzania has a population of 51.82 million people. Around 97 percent of Tanzania's population lives on the mainland, whereas only 2% lives on Zanzibar. The population is expanding at a rate of 3.2 percent, with 45 percent of the population under the age of 15. Tanzania's population is expected to reach 129,420,000 in 2050 and 275,620,000 in 2100, according to UN demographic projections


The geographical location of the country is extremely advantageous. Tanzania is immediately connected to the Indian Ocean, allowing it to trade with Asia, and it is sandwiched between the ocean and six landlocked nations (Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, and Malawi), which rely on Tanzania for goods transit. Dar es Salaam, Tanga, and Mtwara are the country's three deep water ports, which serve the neighboring nations. Tanzania is also a natural transportation gateway for East and Central Africa due to its membership in the SADC Free Trade Area and the EAC Common Market, as well as its extensive rail and road networks.

Tanzania's domestic production capabilities, fueled by abundant natural resources such as extensive arable land and mineral riches, make it a natural center for goods movement.


Tanzania is a member of the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) . Tanzania is a member of the Tripartite Free Trade Area, which includes the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), SADC, and the East African Community (EAC). This is a massive market opportunity with a population of over 600 million people.

The East African Community (EAC) is an international organization made up of five republics: Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania.

The EAC was founded in 1967, disbanded in 1977, and resurrected on July 7, 2000. In 2008, the EAC approved an expanded free trade area encompassing all three organizations' member nations, following negotiations with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). In 2015, the EAC had a population of 145.5 million people and a gross domestic output (GDP) of US$ 147.5 billion.

The East African Community (EAC) is an international organization made up of five republics: Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania. The EAC was founded in 1967, disbanded in 1977, and resurrected on July 7, 2000. In 2008, the EAC approved an expanded free trade area encompassing all three organizations' member nations, following negotiations with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). In 2015, the EAC had a population of 145.5 million people and a gross domestic output (GDP) of US$ 147.5 billion.


The United Republic of Tanzania established a Foreign Policy emphasizing on economic diplomacy to guarantee the fundamental national interest as a sovereign state, given the economic and socio-political shifts that have occurred in the domestic and international environment. The strategy is manifested in active international involvement, which is primarily focused on achieving economic goals while also protecting and consolidating Tanzania's traditional foreign policy values.


Tanzania is a fast-growing emerging economy, placing 20th among the world's fastest-growing economies. The country has had a GDP growth rate of around 7% for the past five years, and the IMF and the World Bank expect that this strong growth will continue for at least the next decade. Through the successful implementation of free market-oriented reforms, the country has successfully transitioned from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented system during the last two decades. With inflation rates decreasing from 24.7 percent in 1995 to 5 percent in 2015, these measures have resulted in a favorable growth trend and impressive macroeconomic statistics.


Tanzania is a politically stable country that has been so since its independence in 1961. It is one of only a few African countries with a stable and peaceful sociopolitical climate. Ethnic and religious tensions, as well as the violence that has afflicted so many emerging countries, are absent in the country. As part of worldwide political reforms, the country has ushered in political plurality and increased democratization. In particular, the country adopted the multiparty system in 1992, and the first multiparty general elections were held in 1995.

These political advances, notably the pluralistic political climate, have ushered in a new era of democratization, with greater freedom of speech, movement, and involvement in decision-making. Since 1992, the country has hosted five multiparty general elections, the most recent of which was held peacefully in 2015 and included more than five political parties. Tanzania has received a peace dividend as a result of its political stability, which continues to establish the groundwork for the country's good economic success


Tanzania's legal system is founded on English Common Law principles. The Constitution of 1977 is the first source of law, followed by legislation or acts of parliament; and case law, which is a collection of published and unreported cases from the High Courts and Courts of Appeal that serve as precedents for lower courts. The highest-ranking court in Tanzania is the Court of Appeal of Tanzania, which hears all appeals from Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, followed by the High Court of Tanzania, which hears all forms of civil and criminal proceedings, as well as commercial affairs.

Labor, Land, Commercial, and Corruption and Economic Crimes are the four specialty departments within the High Courts. The Labor, Land, Corruption and Economic Crimes, and Corruption and Economic Crimes divisions have exclusive authority over their respective topics, although the Commercial division does not. In commercial issues involving monetary amounts of up to TZS 50 million ($22,442) and TZS 300 million ($134,650), the District and Resident Magistrate Courts have original jurisdiction. For cases worth more than that, the High Court has original jurisdiction.


Non-citizen investors are only allowed to occupy land for investment purposes under the Tanzania Investment Act of 1997 and the Land Act of 1999. Land can be leased for up to 99 years, but Tanzanians cannot sell their land to outsiders under the legislation. Foreigners can lease land in a variety of ways, including through TIC, which has designated specific tracts of land (a land bank) to be made available to international investors.

Foreign investors can also form joint ventures with Tanzanians, in which the Tanzanian gives land for the foreign investor (but retains ownership, i.e., the leasehold). The URT is currently working to grow TIC's land bank and upgrade its land titling and registration system, thanks to a newly established land bank compensation fund.


The Fair Competition Commission (FCC) responds quickly to private-sector requests for help and takes action against counterfeiters.

Patents and trademarks are registered on a first-in-time, first-in-right basis, therefore businesses should apply for trademark and patent protection as soon as possible. It is the obligation of the rights holders to register, protect, and enforce their rights, with their own attorneys and consultants, where applicable.


There is no aggregate value limit on foreign ownership of listed non-government securities under the Capital Markets and Securities (Foreign Investors) Regulation 2014. The government securities market is only open to foreign persons or firms from the other East African Community (EAC) countries (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda). Telecoms firms in Tanzania are required to float a 25% stake on the DSE, while large scale mining operators are required to float a 30% stake on the DSE under the mining (Minimum Shareholding and Public Offering) Regulations 2016. A large number of investors have obtained credit on the local market.


The "banking system is well-capitalized, liquid, and profitable on average," according to the IMF's Fifth Review under the Policy Support Instrument, published in January 2017. To expand access to credit for the private sector, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) reduced the interest rate it charges for lending to other banks from 16 percent to 12 percent on March 6, 2017. Documentary credits (letters of credit), overdrafts, term loans, and guarantees are among the commercial credit instruments available to private sector businesses.


Tanzanian legislation allow for unconditional transfers of net income, repayment of foreign loans, royalties, fees levied for foreign technology, and transmission of funds through any authorized bank in freely convertible currency. The only regulatory limit on foreign currency transfers is the amount of cash carried by individuals traveling abroad, which cannot exceed $10,000 in a 40-day period.


The URT designed and is implementing a skills development framework to ensure that Tanzanians learn the required labor skills to help the country become more industrialized. The FYDP II recognizes the need for graduates to have more marketable skills and better learning settings for students. As the number of university graduates rises, this skills program will provide investors with enough workers to fill a variety of professions.

Mainland Tanzania's minimum wage is divided into 12 categories, each of which covers a different job sector. The minimum salary for agricultural laborers is Tsh 100,000 ($45) per month, whereas laborers in the mineral sector earn Tsh 400,000 ($180) per month (companies with mining and prospecting licenses).


The government has implemented a compliance program that requires corporate management/individuals seeking government tenders to adhere to anti-bribery regulations and to present a written promise to do so.

Bribing someone or accepting a bribe is illegal in Tanzania. President Magufuli, who took office in November 2015, has continued to advocate for the enforcement of anti-corruption laws, regulations, and penalties. This has influenced public discourse about the current climate of impunity, and some officials are reportedly more hesitant to engage openly in corruption.