The United Republic of Tanzania is the second largest economy in the East African Community and the tenth largest in Africa. The country is largely dependent on agriculture for employment, accounting for about half of the employed workforce.The economy has been transitioning from a command economy to a market economy since 1985. Although total GDP has increased since these reforms began, GDP per capita dropped sharply at first, and only exceeded the pre-transition figure in around 2007.
Following the rebasing of the economy in 2014, the GDP increased by a third to $41.33 billion.
|Economy of Tanzania|
|Currency||Tanzanian shilling (TZS)|
|EAC, SADC, AU, WTO|
|GDP||ppp 163,522 billion Nominal $46.87 billion (nominal, 2016 est.)|
|GDP rank||91st (nominal, 2013)|
|+6.5% Q1 2017 (19th)|
GDP per capita
GDP by sector
|Agriculture: 24.5% |
Industry and construction: 22.2%
|4% (January 2015)|
Population below poverty line
|22.8% (2015 est.)|
|25.59 million (2013 est.)|
Labour force by occupation
|Agriculture: 50%:page 56|
|Agricultural processing |
|Exports||$5.6685 billion (105th; October 2015)|
Main export partners
| India 21.4%|
Belgium 4.3% (2015)
|Imports||$10.441 billion (FOB; October 2015)|
Main import partners
| China 15.5%|
United States 9.6%
United Kingdom 4.3% (2015)
|$12.715 billion (2013)|
|–4.002 billion (October 2015)|
Gross external debt
|$15.4 billion (October 2015)|
|42.7% of GDP (2013 est.)|
|Revenues||$7.117 billion (2013 est.)|
|Expenses||$8.917 billion (2013 est.)|
|Economic aid||$490 million (recipient; 2014)|
|$4,383.6 million (4.5 months of imports; 2013)|
Significant measures have been taken to liberalize the Tanzanian economy along market lines and encourage both foreign and domestic private investment. Beginning in 1986, the Government of Tanzania embarked on an adjustment program to dismantle the socialist (Ujamaa) economic controls and encourage more active participation of the private sector in the economy. The program included a comprehensive package of policies which reduced the budget deficit and improved monetary control, substantially depreciated the overvalued exchange rate, liberalized the trade regime, removed most price controls, eased restrictions on the marketing of food crops, freed interest rates, and initiated a restructuring of the financial sector.
Current GDP per capita of Tanzania grew more than 40 percent between 1998 and 2007. In May 2009, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved an Exogenous Shock Facility for Tanzania to help the country cope with the global economic crisis Tanzania is also engaged in a Policy Support Instrument (PSI) with the IMF, which commenced in February 2007 after Tanzania completed its second three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), the first having been completed in August 2003. The PRGF was the successor program to the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility, which Tanzania also participated in from 1996-1999. The IMF's PSI program provides policy support and signaling to participating low-income countries and is intended for countries that have usually achieved a reasonable growth performance, low underlying inflation, an adequate level of official international reserves, and have begun to establish external and net domestic debt sustainability.
Tanzania also embarked on a major restructuring of state-owned enterprises. The program has so far divested 335 out of some 425 parastatal entities. Overall, real economic growth has averaged about 4 percent a year, much better than the previous 20 years, but not enough to improve the lives of average Tanzanians. Also, the economy remains overwhelmingly donor-dependent. Moreover, Tanzania has an external debt of $7.9 billion. The servicing of this debt absorbs about 40 percent of total government expenditures. Tanzania has qualified for debt relief under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Debts worth over $6 billion were canceled following implementation of the Paris Club 7 Agreement. Height measure studies for Tanzania show that welfare increased through the years of colonization, with an decline during the 1930s. This is due to epidemics in that period of time.
|Year||Gross Domestic Product||US Dollar Exchange|
Mean wages were $0.52 per man-hour in 2009.
The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017. Inflation below 5% is in green.
(in bil. US$ PPP)
|GDP per capita
(in US$ PPP)
(in % of GDP)
|1980||11.0||592||3.3 %||30.2 %||n/a|
|1981||12.1||633||0.5 %||25.7 %||n/a|
|1982||13.0||657||0.6 %||28.9 %||n/a|
|1983||13.8||680||2.4 %||27.1 %||n/a|
|1984||14.8||708||3.4 %||36.1 %||n/a|
|1985||15.9||744||4.6 %||33.3 %||n/a|
|1986||17.3||789||6.6 %||32.4 %||n/a|
|1987||18.8||835||5.9 %||29.9 %||n/a|
|1988||20.3||880||4.4 %||31.2 %||n/a|
|1989||21.9||917||3.8 %||25.8 %||n/a|
|1990||24.3||985||7.0 %||36.4 %||n/a|
|1991||25.7||1,007||2.1 %||25.2 %||n/a|
|1992||26.4||1,004||0.6 %||20.7 %||n/a|
|1993||27.4||1,009||1.2 %||26.1 %||n/a|
|1994||28.4||1,016||1.6 %||37.9 %||n/a|
|1995||30.0||1,044||3.6 %||26.8 %||n/a|
|1996||32.0||1,081||4.5 %||21.0 %||n/a|
|1997||33.7||1,108||3.5 %||16.1 %||n/a|
|1998||35.3||1,132||3.7 %||12.8 %||n/a|
|1999||37.6||1,174||4.8 %||7.9 %||n/a|
|2000||40.3||1,228||4.9 %||6.0 %||n/a|
|2001||43.7||1,298||6.0 %||5.1 %||50.2 %|
|2002||47.4||1,377||6.9 %||4.6 %||47.0 %|
|2003||51.4||1,447||6.4 %||4.4 %||44.3 %|
|2004||56.6||1,548||7.2 %||4.1 %||44.6 %|
|2005||62.1||1,651||6.5 %||4.4 %||46.8 %|
|2006||66.9||1,732||4.7 %||7.3 %||32.8 %|
|2007||74.6||1,879||8.5 %||7.0 %||21.6 %|
|2008||80.2||1,970||5.6 %||10.3 %||21.5 %|
|2009||85.2||2,039||5.4 %||12.1 %||24.4 %|
|2010||91.7||2,140||6.4 %||7.2 %||27.3 %|
|2011||101.0||2,301||7.9 %||12.7 %||27.8 %|
|2012||108.2||2,409||5.1 %||16.0 %||29.2 %|
|2013||118.1||2,577||7.2 %||7.9 %||30.9 %|
|2014||128.7||2,754||7.0 %||6.1 %||33.8 %|
|2015||139.1||2,918||7.0 %||5.6 %||37.2 %|
|2016||150.4||3,091||7.0 %||5.2 %||38.0 %|
|2017||162.5||3,247||6.0 %||5.3 %||37.0 %|
The Tanzanian economy is heavily based on agriculture, which accounts for 24.5 percent of gross domestic product,:page 37 provides 85 percent of exports, and accounts for half of the employed workforce;:page 56 The agricultural sector grew 4.3 percent in 2012, less than half of the Millennium Development Goal target of 10.8 percent. 16.4 percent of the land is arable, with 2.4 percent of the land planted with permanent crops.
This strong dependence on agriculture, makes Tanzania's economy highly vulnerable to weather shocks and fluctuating commodity prices. 76% of Tanzania's population subsist thanks to agriculture and, due to the lack of knowledge and infrastructure to develop and implement some kind of agricultural technology, any droughts, floods, or temperature shocks can severely damage the living standards of those people and create huge increases in unemployment, hunger, and malnutrition rates, as well as, in really severe case, mortality rates due to starvation.
Industry and construction is a major and growing component of the Tanzanian economy, contributing 22.2 percent of GDP in 2013.:page 37 This component includes mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and natural gas, water supply, and construction.:page 37
Mining contributed 3.3 percent of GDP in 2013.:page 33 The vast majority of the country's mineral export revenue comes from gold, accounting for 89 percent of the value of those exports in 2013.:page 71 It also exports sizable quantities of gemstones, including diamonds and tanzanite.:page 1250 All of Tanzania's coal production, which totalled 106,000 short tons in 2012, is used domestically.
Other minerals exploited in Tanzania include;
Modern gold mining in Tanzania started in the German colonial period, beginning with gold discoveries near Lake Victoria in 1894. The first gold mine in what was then Tanganyika, the Sekenke Gold Mine, began operation in 1909, and gold mining in Tanzania experienced a boom between 1930 and World War II. By 1967, gold production in the country had dropped to insignificance but was revived in the mid-1970s, when the gold price rose once more. In the late 1990s, foreign mining companies started investing in the exploration and development of gold deposits in Tanzania, leading to the opening of a number of new mines, like the Golden Pride mine, which opened in 1999 as the first modern gold mine in the country, or the Buzwagi mine, which opened in 2009.
Nickel reserves amounting to 290,000 tonnes were discovered in October 2012 by Ngwena Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Australian mining company IMX Resources. An initial investment of around USD $38 million has been made since exploration began in 2006, and nickel should start being mined at the end of 2015.
Chinese firms have been showing major interest in Tanzania’s mineral deposits; an announcement was made in late 2011 of a plan by the Sichuan Hongda Group, to invest about USD3 billion to develop the Mchuchuma coal and Liganga iron ore projects in the south of the country. It was also announced in August 2012 that China National Gold Corp are in talks to purchase mining assets in Tanzania from African Barrick Gold, in a deal that could be worth more than £2 billion.
In November 2012, the Tanzanian government announced investigations into allegations that mining investors in the country were harassing and on some occasions, killing residents around mining sites.
The government-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) dominates the electric supply industry in Tanzania. The country generated 6.013 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity in 2013, a 4.2 percent increase over the 5.771 billion kWh generated in 2012.:page 4 Generation increased by 63 percent between 2005 and 2012; however, only 15 percent of Tanzanians had access to electric power in 2011. Almost 18 percent of the electricity generated in 2012 was lost because of theft and transmission and distribution problems. The electrical supply varies, particularly when droughts disrupt hydropower electric generation; rolling blackouts are implemented as necessary.:page 1251 The unreliability of the electrical supply has hindered the development of Tanzanian industry.:page 1251 In 2013, 49.7 percent of Tanzania's electricity generation came from natural gas, 28.9 percent from hydroelectric sources, 20.4 percent from thermal sources, and 1.0 percent from outside the country.:page 5 The government is building a 532 kilometres (331 mi) gas pipeline from Mnazi Bay to Dar es Salaam, with a scheduled completion in 2015. This pipeline is expected to allow the country to double its electricity generation capacity to 3,000 megawatts by 2016. The government's goal is to increase capacity to at least 10,000 megawatts by 2025.
According to PFC Energy, 25 to 30 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas resources have been discovered in Tanzania since 2010. The value of natural gas actually produced in 2013 was US $52.2 million, a 42.7 percent increase over 2012.:page 73
Commercial production of gas from the Songo Songo Island field in the Indian Ocean commenced in 2004, thirty years after it was discovered there. Over 35 billion cubic feet of gas was produced from this field in 2013,:page 72 with proven, probable, and possible reserves totalling 1.1 trillion cubic feet. The gas is transported by pipeline to Dar es Salaam. As of 27 August 2014, TANESCO owed the operator of this field, Orca Exploration Group Inc., US $50.4 million, down from US $63.8 million two months earlier.
A newer natural gas field in Mnazi Bay in 2013 produced about one-seventh of the amount produced near Songo Songo Island:page 73 but has proven, probable, and possible reserves of 2.2 trillion cubic feet. Virtually all of that gas is being used for electricity generation in Mtwara.
The Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique and Tanzania, is proving to be a rich hunting ground for natural gas exploration. According to US Geological Survey estimates, the combined gas reserves of Mozambique and Tanzania could be as high as 250 trillion cubic feet. In Mozambique alone, proven gas reserves have increased dramatically from a mere 4.6 trillion cubic feet in 2013 to 98.8 trillion cubic feet as of mid-2015. Given continued offshore discoveries and the size of discoveries to date, continued growth in proven gas reserves is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.
New exploration on more frontier blocks, however, will likely be slowed as oil and gas prices fall and companies apply increasing caution to investing in frontier markets with nascent industries, poor infrastructure and long lead times.
Tanzania's history of political stability has encouraged foreign direct investment. The government has committed itself to improve the investment climate including redrawing tax codes, floating the exchange rate, licensing foreign banks, and creating an investment promotion center to cut red tape. Tanzania has mineral resources and a largely untapped tourism sector, which might make it a viable market for foreign investment.
Zanzibar's economy is based primarily on the production of cloves (90% grown on the island of Pemba), the principal foreign exchange earner. Exports have suffered from the downturn in the clove market. Tourism is an increasingly promising sector, and a number of new hotels and resorts have been built in recent years.
The Government of Zanzibar has been more aggressive than its mainland counterpart in instituting economic reforms and has legalized foreign exchange bureaus on the islands. This has loosened up the economy and dramatically increased the availability of consumer commodities. Furthermore, with external funding, the government plans to make the port of Zanzibar a free port. Rehabilitation of current port facilities and plans to extend these facilities will be the precursor to the free port. The island's manufacturing sector is limited mainly to import substitution industries, such as cigarettes, shoes, and process agricultural products. In 1992, the government designated two export-producing zones and encouraged the development of offshore financial services. Zanzibar still imports much of its staple requirements, petroleum products, and manufactured articles.
Government ministries, agencies and sites
Azania Bank Limited, whose formal name is First Adili Bancorp Limited, and is commonly referred to as Azania Bank, is a commercial bank in Tanzania. It is licensed by the Bank of Tanzania (BOT), the central bank and national banking regulator.Bank of Tanzania
The Bank of Tanzania (Swahili: Benki Kuu ya mTanzania) is the central bank of the United Republic of Tanzania. It is responsible for issuing the national currency, the Tanzanian shilling.
The bank was established under the Bank of Tanzania Act 1965. However, in 1995, the government decided that the central bank had too many responsibilities, and was thus hindering its other objectives. As a result, the government introduced the Bank of Tanzania Act 1995, which gave the bank the single objective of monetary policy.
It is governed by a board of directors consisting of ten people, four of whom are ex officio members which have three advisory committees that can assist them. The bank is headed by its Governor, assisted by three deputy governors in Administration, Economic and financial policies and Financial stability.Coffee production in Tanzania
Coffee production in Tanzania is a significant aspect of its economy as it is Tanzania's largest export crop. Tanzanian coffee production averages between 30-40,000 metric tons annually of which approximately 70% is Arabica and 30% is Robusta.
The nine main growing regions of Arabica are in:
NgaraThe main growing region of Robusta is the Bukoba area of the Kagera Region. Two new species were found recently in Tanzania's Eastern Arc Mountains, Coffea bridsoniae and C. kihansiensis. Harvest time is traditionally October to February. Ninety percent of the nation's coffee farms are smallholder, with the remainder being plantations. The industry estimates are approximately 270,000 personnel involved in the coffee industry.
Before 1990, the State coffee board and the cooperative unions were responsible for marketing coffee. Reforms in 1990 and in 1994/95 affected export pricing. Coffee wilt disease appeared in Tanzania in 1997, spreading rapidly and causing serious losses.First National Bank of Tanzania
First National Bank Tanzania (FNBT), is a commercial bank in Tanzania. It is one of the commercial banks licensed by the Bank of Tanzania, the national banking regulator. It is a subsidiary of South Africa-based First Rand Group.
FNBT is a small commercial bank in Tanzania.List of companies of Tanzania
Tanzania has the second largest economy in the East African Community and the twelfth largest in Africa. It is largely dependent on agriculture for employment, accounting for about half of the employed workforce. An estimated 34 percent of Tanzanians currently live in poverty. The economy has been transitioning from a command economy to a market economy since 1985. Although total GDP has increased since these reforms began, GDP per capita dropped sharply at first, and only exceeded the pre-transition figure in around 2007.List of regions of Tanzania by GDP
This is a list of regions of Tanzania by GDP and GDP per capita. The equivalent countries which are comparable to the regions in GDP and GDP per capita are chosen by World Bank data for the same year. Data does only include values for Mainland Tansania without Zanzibar.List of regions of Tanzania by Human Development Index
This is a list of regions of Tanzania by Human Development Index as of 2018 with data for the year 2017.Ministry of Finance and Planning (Tanzania)
The Ministry of Finance and Planning is a government ministry of Tanzania.
It "manages the overall revenue, expenditure, and financing of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and provides the Government with advice on the broad financial AFFAIRS of Tanzania in support of the Government's economic and social objectives." Its duties include "preparing the Central Government budget; developing tax policy and legislation; managing Government borrowings on financial markets; determining expenditure allocations to different Government institutions; transferring central grants to local governments; developing regulatory policy for the country's financial sector in cooperation with the Bank of Tanzania[,] and representing Tanzania within international financial institutions."The ministry is located in Dar es Salaam and is headed by Minister William Mgimwa.National Bank of Commerce (Tanzania)
National Bank of Commerce (Tanzania), whose full name is National Bank of Commerce (Tanzania) Limited, sometimes referred to as NBC (Tanzania), or as NBC (Tanzania) Limited, is a commercial bank in Tanzania. It is one of the commercial banks licensed by the Bank of Tanzania, the country's central bank and the national banking regulator.National Microfinance Bank
NMB Bank, is a commercial bank in Tanzania. It is licensed by the Bank of Tanzania, the central bank and national banking regulator.As of September 2013, the bank was a large financial services institution, providing commercial banking services to individuals, small to medium-sized corporate clients, as well as large businesses. Then, it was the third-largest commercial bank in Tanzania, by assets, behind FBME Bank and CRDB Bank.As of June 2016, the bank's total asset valuation was about US$2.212 billion (TZS:4.72 trillion).People's Bank of Zanzibar
The People's Bank of Zanzibar (PBZ) is a commercial bank in Tanzania. It is licensed by the Bank of Tanzania, the central bank and national banking regulator.Revenue stamps of Zanzibar
Zanzibar issued revenue stamps from when it was a British protectorate in 1892, to after when it became part of Tanzania in 1993.Sisal production in Tanzania
Sisal production in Tanzania began in the late 19th century by the German East Africa Company. Sisal was continually produced during the German administration and the British administration and was the colony's largest export highly prized for use in cordage and carpets worldwide. At the time of independence in 1961, Tanzania was the largest exporter of Sisal in the world and the industry employed over 1 million farmers and factory workers.Sisal production began to decline after independence due to the drop in world prices as synthetic nylon substitutes became more popular. The nationalization of the estates during Ujamaa and the mismanagement of the estates further dropped the production in the country. However, in recent years the government has injected funds to help revive the industry's glory.Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) is a government agency of Tanzania with a mandate to promote business and industry, and to facilitate an interface between the private sector and public sector in the country. TCCIA was founded in 1988 and its head offices are in Dar es Salaam. It has played in important role in the privatization and liberalization of Tanzania's economy.Tanzania Postal Bank
The Tanzania Postal Bank Plc. is a licensed commercial bank in Tanzania and one has the roots of one of the oldest banking institutions in the country. The bank traces its roots to the Tanganyika Post office Savings Bank, which then formed an entirely independent entity from the Tanzania Posts Corporation. In 2017 the bank aimed to list itself on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and officially transformed into a Public limited company.Tanzania Revenue Authority
The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is a government agency of Tanzania, charged with the responsibility of managing the assessment, collection and accounting of all central government revenue. It is a semi-autonomous body that operates in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. The current chairperson of the TRA is Prof. F.M. Luoga. Offices of the TRA are located in Dar es Salaam.
The TRA was established by Act of Parliament Not. 11 of 1995, and it started its operations on 1 July 1996. In carrying out its statutory functions, TRA is regulated by law, and is responsible for administering impartially various taxes of the Central Government.Tanzania Women's Bank Limited
Tanzania Women Bank Limited (TWBL) is a Tanzanian bank that specialises in providing financial services to women. It is listed as a "Registered Financial Institution" by the Bank of Tanzania, the central bank and national banking regulator.Ujamaa
Ujamaa ('familyhood' in Swahili) was the concept that formed the basis of Julius Nyerere's social and economic development policies in Tanzania after it gained independence from Britain in 1961.Zanzibari rupee
The rupee (Arabic: روپيه) was the currency of Zanzibar from 1908 to December 31, 1935. It was subdivided into 100 cents (Arabic: سنت).
States with limited